House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asserted last week that restricting abortion is “sinful,” another clear indication she has broken from the teachings of the Catholic church.
What did Pelosi say?
Speaking at a “reproductive health roundtable discussion” on Aug. 26, Pelosi claimed that restricting abortion rights is a “sinful” assault on women.
“The fact that this is such an assault on women of color and women — lower income families is just sinful. It’s sinful,” Pelosi said.
“It‘s wrong that they would be able to say to women what they think women should be doing with their lives and their bodies,” she added. “But it’s sinful, the injustice of it all.”
Earlier in the event, Pelosi said that “extreme MAGA Republicans” have been “emboldened by the radical Supreme Court.” She accused such people of “inflicting unimaginable pain on women and their families.” Pelosi even claimed that “American women are not as free as their mothers and their grandmothers were.”
What is the background?
Pelosi has repeatedly used religious language to rebuke those ideas she believes are wrong. Yet Pelosi’s position on abortion is radically out of step with orthodox Christian teachings generally and the teachings of her church, the Catholic church, specifically.
In fact, the Catholic church considers abortion a grave sin.
“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the Catechism of the Catholic church explains. “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
The official church teaching also declares, “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.”
Because Pelosi has for years espoused ideas clearly in contradiction to Catholic teachings, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone announced in May that Pelosi can no longer receive Holy Communion in his diocese.
“Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months,” Cordileone wrote in a letter.
“After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” he explained.
Pelosi, however, has ignored the directive, and is continuing to receive communion elsewhere — including in the Vatican earlier this summer.