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Nancy Pelosi takes Communion in Vatican despite her support of abortion rights

Archbishop says Pelosi can't receive communion
San Francisco archbishop says Nancy Pelosi can't receive communion 03:10

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received Communion on Wednesday during a papal mass in St. Peter's Basilica, according to the Associated Press. She took Communion more than a month after the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco said she could no longer receive the sacrament because of her stance on abortion access. 

Pelosi took communion from a priest in a section of the iconic church during the feast of St. Peter and Paul, the AP reported. Pope Francis, who was in attendance at the mass, met with Pelosi and gave her a blessing. A photo shows Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi, greeting the pope. 

Pope Francis celebrates the Mass of St. Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Basilica
Pope Francis greets Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) before the mass of Saint Peter and Paul, in St Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican. VATICAN MEDIA

Pelosi met with Vatican officials and Rome-based Americans for an Independence Day-related event at the residence of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See on Tuesday evening and spoke about her Catholic faith. 

"Faith is an important gift, not everyone has it but it is the path to so many other things," she told the crowd, according to AP.  

Despite her faith, Pelosi has openly advocated for abortion rights and recently spoke out about the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – the 1973 landmark decision that established the right to an abortion. 

"This cruel ruling is outrageous and heart-wrenching," she said Friday. "But make no mistake: the rights of women and all Americans are on the ballot this November."

US' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29, 2022 at Saint-Peter Basilica in the Vatican. TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images

When a draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe was leaked in May, Pelosi at the time vowed to keep fighting to enshrine Roe into law. Her stance then drew a response from Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, who wrote a letter informing her she can no longer receive the sacrament of Communion because she has not backed down from her push for abortion access. San Francisco is in Pelosi's home district. 

CBS News reached out to the Archdiocese of San Francisco for comment. 

The pope continues to uphold the church's opposition to abortion. However, Francis has told President Biden – another Catholic who supports abortion access – to keep receiving Communion during his October visit to the Vatican. 

The Vatican has not ruled on specifically whether politicians supporting abortion can take Communion in a major teaching document, but the church's in-house canon law says people in situation of persistent sin should not be allowed to receive it, the AP reported. 

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