Pelosi: Meet the Bishops

Since our last post concerning the pro-abortion views of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, where she misrepresented Church teaching about abortion.

Her public statements are increasingly drawing fire from the Church hierarchy. First, there’s the statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, coauthored by CUF episcopal advisor Cardinal Justin Rigali, head of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William E. Lori, who heads the Committee on Doctrine. That statement is available here.

Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, who often comes under fire for not coming down harder on pro-abortion Catholics on Capitol Hill, issued a statement late Monday that read, in part: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.” For the complete text, click here.

And then there’s CUF advisor Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, along with his auxiliary bishop, James Conley, who issued a statement that says, in part: “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.” For the complete text, click here.

Archbishop Chaput also reportedly told The Associated Press that Sen. Joseph Biden, presumably Sen. Obama’s running mate, should refrain from receiving Communion because of his pro-abortion stance.

Stay tuned . . .

20 responses

  1. “Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, who often comes under fire for not coming down harder on pro-abortion Catholics on Capitol Hill,…” Seems like he still is not doing his job. Can Pelosi, Biden, et. al. still receive Communion in Washington D.C.? We should pray for Archbishop Wuerl, he has a grave responsibility and he is ignoring it. Death comes to us all and he will have to face the Judgement Seat. Pray for him.

  2. I wonder…. Does Madam Pelosi, as an “ardent, practicing Catholic” believe in the in-fallible Church doctrine of the “Immaculate Conception”? When she goes to Mass on that feast day, what is it that she’s celebrates?… The “possibility” Mary existed at the time of her conception? Unbelievable! And this is the cream of the American crop!

  3. Thank you, Archbishop Chaput. And, since we are hearing from the archbishops of Denver and D.C., is it wrong of me to ask where is Pelosi’s own archbishop on this?
    In the next couple years, we’ll have an astounding number of archbishops: New York, Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Philly, Omaha, Okla. City, New Orleans, Seattle, and in a couple more years, L.A., Portland, and San Francisco.
    Pray for our Pope to make wise choices!

  4. all clergy who refuse Holy Communion to a soul who approaches the ‘Table of the Lord’ should be run out of church,, God is love and no clergy nor ambigious rulebook( catechism) dare replace the love of God..I thank God for the Reformation
    Vat 2 simply completed what Luther began. AMEN

  5. John, the Code of Canon Law was revised in 1983 to incorporate the teachings of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65). Church law, reflecting traditional Church teaching and practice, calls for the withholding of Communion in certain extreme cases. And those tend to be more public situations, such as the case of notoriously pro-abortion politicians. But nobody should receive Communion if they are conscious of having committed a mortal sin, as that’s an act of sacrilege (1 Cor. 11:27) that only makes things worse.

    As St. John Chrysostom wrote about 1,600 years ago:

    “I too raise my voice, I beseech, beg and implore that no one draw near to this sacred table with a sullied and corrupt conscience. Such an act, in fact, can never be called ‘communion,’ not even were we to touch the Lord’s body a thousand times over, but ‘condemnation,’ ‘torment,’ and ‘increase of punishment.’”

    Sometimes the love of God that you rightly extol must be exercised medicinally, as He disciplines us as His sons and daughters for our own spiritual welfare and happiness. See Hebrews 12:5-11 for a wonderful teaching on the subject, which concludes as follows:

    “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

    The goal in the case of Speaker Pelosi or whoever it may be who is estranged from the Church and can’t receive Communion is “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” through conversion of heart, not permanent excommunication.

  6. In response to John’s comment, false love takes the easy route and says “you’re OK.” True love takes the tough route and says, “there is a problem here, and your actions are hurting yourself and others.” Jesus didn’t come just to say that we’re already OK. He had to come and die on a cross to actually MAKE us OK.
    Love of Christ does not equate to saying that sin doesn’t matter or that there are no standards for who can receive holy communion. Jesus told the woman at the well “go and sin no more.” And St. Paul warned: “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Cor. 11:27)

  7. John W. Maher forgets that God’s love is but one side of a coin whose other side is justice. God loves the unborn babies in the wombs of their mothers and He will not forever tolerate politicians such as Nancy Pelosi using their standings as Catholics and secular leaders to legitimatize infanticide. This is what the Canaanites did for their god Molech. And God’s judgment rained down on them because God is Love. This perversion that I must not call evil evil lest I judge another is NOT what Christ meant when He said, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Our Bishops MUST deny those in a public state of grave sin participation at Holy Communion. This is the very Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus. How can such people partake thereof when they have already “eaten the flesh and drank the blood” of the unborn? What kind of permissiveness would John W. Maher want of the Body of Christ? Actual sacrifice to Molech himself?

  8. Pelosi Supports Gay Marriage

    Folks,

    What I want to know is this:

    Why don’t Archbishop Niederauer of the Archdiocese of San Francisco (Pelosi’s own home diocese) and Archbishop Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC (where Pelosi works) deny Pelosi communion when she openly and publicly supports positions contrary to the teaching of Holy Mother Church? One excerpt from Yahoo news article http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080828/ap_on_re_us/obit_martin suffices:

    “U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco, said Del and Phyllis were instrumental in getting gay marriage legalized. ‘We would not have marriage equality in California if it weren’t for Del and Phyllis. They fought and triumphed in many battles,’ Pelosi said. ‘Through it all, their love and commitment to each other was an inspiration to all who knew them.’”

    We should not judge other people or take their moral inventory. Yet simple observation shows that Pelosi’s positions on the issues facing our Republic are inherently evil. Surely Archbishops Niederauer and Wuerl know this?

    In Caritate Christi,

    Paulus
    Fiat Voluntas Dei

  9. Paul, I opine that a mistaken notion of the “primacy of conscience” paints the gray area.
    “Invincible ignorance” at least excuses a person from the error. Yet when a follower “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good”, that follower is certainly culpable. The question really is, — in the face of inherent evil and that surely the bishops know as you say, (and may I add – on primary non-negotiables such as sacredness of life in all its stages and the sanctity of marriage) — whether mandatory pastoral counselling from the directly concerned ordinary counselor/s has taken place. If not, then we have to wonder why.

  10. Question: Why don’t you folks get Roe v Wade overturned ? and stop harassing Nancy Pelosi!
    or do you think Inquisitional type of management can really make positive changes in America. Change the law as we are a nation of laws and
    hopfully not a nation of bullys.

  11. Since posting this piece a few days ago, several other bishops have weighed in on the subject, including Cardinal Egan (New York), Archbishop Nienstedt (St. Paul-Minneapolis), and Bishop Aquila (Fargo). Archbishop Niederauer of San Francisco, Speaker Pelosi’s bishop, plans to issue a statement in the next issue of his archdiocesan newspaper.

    For her part, Rep. Pelosi has not backed down from her statements, but instead has tried to justify her position as a legitimate and reasonable one for a Catholic to take.

    John, in this and another post you mention an “inquisitorial” approach, as though suggesting that a professed Catholic in a position of authority should use that authority to protect the most vulnerable ones in our midst is a bad thing.

    Who really are the bullies? You’ve mentioned getting Roe v. Wade overturned and the need to change the law. I’m a lawyer myself, and I understand the importance of the legal and judicial dimension of this complex issue.

    By the way, it’s not simply a legal issue, because sometimes unjust laws get passed which are not moral binding. If we were to pass a law legalizing genocide, would I have to obey it, as though this man-made law trumps God’s law? No. In fact, I would be bound to do what I can to overturn the law and in the meantime resist its implementation.

    But back to the main point of overturning Roe v. Wade or at least limiting its effect. The best way to do that is through the courts. Most Americans don’t want abortion-on-demand. Yet the “Catholics” on the Senate judiciary committee in recents–e.g., Kennedy, Leahy, and of course VP nominee Joseph Biden–have gone out of their way to do everything in their power to make the support of Roe v. Wade a litmus test for the confirmation of judicial candidates. The way they have treated the exceptionally qualified Catholics who have made it through the process (e.g., Roberts, Alito) has been nothing short of shameful. These “Catholics” who have tried to preserve Roe v. Wade have been the bullies. And surely it is disingenuous for these dissident Catholics to say they are merely defending the law of the land when in fact they are a major reason that abortion still is the law of the land.

    Will calling Rep. Pelosi to repent of her views make America a better country or a more divided one? Would not calling to repent make the Church in America stronger, or more compromised? Who knows how all this would play out in the court of public opinion. But ultimately this is not about public opinion, but about Rep. Pelosi’s immortal soul.

  12. John W. Maher, please consider Leon Suprenant’s words carefully – thank you, Leon. His position is inherently correct. I have observed that whenever faithful Catholics voice opposition to Roe v Wade and the subsequent infanticide, we are accused of being bullies. That is the typical cry of liberalism: call good bad and bad good. One wonders then exactly what kind of bullies we have in the US Senate who support what is essentially the ancient Canaanite practice of infant sacrifice to the false God Molech. Because God is Love, His eternal Justice will NOT be withheld forever. God loves unborn babies. Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Dennis Kucinich and all the rest of the “bleeding-heart Democrats” (as well as a few 1D10T Republicans like Rudy Guilliani) who support baby-sacrifices would do well to remember that.

    God, being Eternal Love, is Eternal Justice. The children of Israel learned this the hard way.

  13. Folks, not that it will do any good, but here is my latest letter to the Speaker of the House:

    Ms. Pelosi,

    Bishop after Bishop have come out and publicly proclaimed the erroneousness of your statements on Church teaching and abortion on Meet the Press this past weekend. You need to publicly recant and repent before the Throne of Grace. Without that you remain a failure as a Catholic and the leader of Congress. This issue is NOT going to go away. Holy Mother Church opposes your statements on abortion completely. What explanation will you give when we all stand before the Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ – you, me and everyone else? Don’t you think that our God of Love loves unborn babies? How long will He withhold His hand of Justice which is but the opposite side the coin whose head is His love? I tremble when I think of that. I can only hope and pray that I am ready to give an account of myself.

  14. ok,Leon and Paul thanks for the courtesy especially as I was NOT COURTEOUS ,so i hereby apologoize to all on this blog for my sins..

    Please accept my humble and contrite mea culpa
    mea maxima culpa,, and lets get all Catholics to join in a legally valid movement to eliminate the Roe v Wade debacle and lets get rid of the infanticide which is what abortion is,, simply put abortion is murder…. AMEN

  15. John,

    Thank you for your kind words. It’s OK to have a difference of opinion. That’s how we can learn from each other.

    As for eliminating Roe v Wade, this will take the appointment of pro-life Justices to the US Supreme Court, Justices like Samuel Alito and John Roberts. If McCain and Palin are elected and Justice Steves retires, then McCain will likely replace him with a pro-life Justice. But if Obama and Biden get elected, then the appointment of a pro-death Justice is assured. Only the US Supreme Court can overturn its own 1972 decision on Roe v Wade and that takes a pro-life President who will appoint pro-life Justices.

    Nevertheless, please recall the story of the epileptic who was brought to Jesus in Chapter 9 of the Gospel of St. Mark: http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/mark/mark9.htm. The disciples could not cast out the demon that had caused this. Jesus response was that such a demon as this could only be removed by prayer and fasting. I suggest the same is true of the exorcism of the demon of the infanticide of the unborn. We all must pray and fast. Pray the Rosary. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. And on top of those things, we must write our Senators and Congresspeople, letting our voices as devout Catholics be heard over the din of a secular news media intent on disseminating the propaganda of godless humanism. True, my letter to Nancy Pelosi didn’t go through, so I sent a copy to Rep. McIntyre for the Congressional District in which I live, and to Elizabeth Dole, the Senator for the state in which I live. I have faith that God can cast this demon of infanticide out, but faith has to be backed up by works as St. James so eloquently pioints out in his epistle. I wish that when the pro-life group from my church prays the Rosary in public at the nearby abortion clinic I could join them, but sadly I have work obligations at the times and days when they meet. But these are the means afforded to us by which Roe v Wade may be overturned.

    BTW, did you notice that John McCain’s selectee for VP, Sarah Palin, gave birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome this last April? Doctors told her to abort the baby due to this defect. She refused, opposing infanticide completely. Now she isn’t perfect: she supports the death penalty and the use of contraception. None of us are perfect. But McCain (who also supports embryonic stem cell research contrary to Church teaching) and her are overall better choices (or less bad choices) than Obama and Biden.

    This situation has been brought upon us because we as a nation have rejected God as our King in the same fashion as the children of Israel rejected Him back in 1st Samuel Chapter 8: http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/1samuel/1samuel8.htm. Now we have to reap the rewards of our decision as a nation. May God have mercy on us.

  16. Several other bishops have weighed in on this matter since my last post, including Speaker Pelosi’s own bishop, Archbishop Niederauer of San Francisco. Here is a link to his statement, which was published in the latest edition of his archdiocesan newspaper: http://catholic-sf.org/FPArticle14b.htm

    Among the other statements, I thought that of Cardinal George of Chicago was very well done. In part he noted:

    “The Catholic Church, from its first days, condemned the aborting of unborn children as gravely sinful. Not only Scripture’s teaching about God’s protection of life in the womb (consider the prophets and the psalms and the Gospel stories about John the Baptist and Jesus himself in Mary’s womb) but also the first century catechism (the Didache or Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) said: ‘You shall not slay the child by abortions. You shall not kill what is generated.’ The teaching of the Church was clear in a Roman Empire that permitted abortion. This same teaching has been constantly reiterated in every place and time up to Vatican II, which condemned abortion as a ‘heinous crime.’ This is true today and will be so tomorrow. Any other comments, by politicians, professors, pundits or the occasional priest, are erroneous and cannot be proposed in good faith.”

    For the full text of Cardinal George’s concise pastoral letter on the subject, see http://www.archdiocese-chgo.org/cardinal/letter/letters_2008/letter_090308.shtm

  17. One thing none of the bishops addressed was the second part of Nancy Pelosi’s statement. You rarely hear one of our priests or prelates address the contraception issue. They don’t want to upset the significant number of pew sitters who embrace this sin (some say more than 50%). I quote Nancy Pelosi again from the MTP transcript…”If you want to reduce the number of abortions, and we all do, we must–it would behoove you to support family planning and, and contraception, you would think. But that is not the case. So we have to take–you know, we have to handle this as respectfully–this is sacred ground.” All of the prelates ignored this part of her statement which is also erroneous. The ground is so sacred that the bishops refuse to address it. Perhaps they didn’t want to admit nationally, i.e. DNC, that this might be a problem even among the faithful. None of the Catholic Internet sites that I have gone to commented on this part of her statement either. Where is Janet Smith and her data when you need her!

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