House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded Tuesday to the announcement by the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco that she can no longer receive communion because of her stance on abortion access. She noted that the Catholic church has not denied communion to lawmakers who back the death penalty — which also violates the church's Catechism.
"I wonder about death penalty, which I am opposed to," Pelosi said in an interview on MSNBC Tuesday morning. "So is the church, but they take no action against people who may not share their view. ... So, we just have to be prayerful. We have to be respectful. I come from a largely pro-life Italian American Catholic family, so I respect people's views about that. But I don't respect us foisting it onto others. Now our archbishop has been vehemently against LGBTQ rights, too, in fact, he led the way in some of the initiatives on — an initiative on the ballot in California. So, this decision taking us to privacy and precedent is very dangerous in the lives of so many of the American people."
Pelosi's interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday followed Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone's public letter informing Pelosi, who is from San Francisco, that she maybecause she has not backed down from her push for abortion access.
Cordileone wrote Friday that his "many requests" to speak with Pelosi have not been accommodated sincein law. The archbishop said he had told Pelosi on April 7 that, if she did not publicly repudiate her "advocacy for abortion 'rights'" or refrain from referring to her faith in public, he would have no choice but to deny her communion.
"As you have not publically repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come," the archbishop wrote.
"Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be 'concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care' ... by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance."
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