Nancy Pelosi has been barred from receiving Holy Communion in her hometown.
Salvatore Cordileone, the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, announced the decision Friday, citing the House Speaker’s “extreme” pro-choice stance. Catholic law defines abortion as a “grave sin,” and states those who preserve it “are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
Cordileone claimed he reached out to Pelosi—a self-described Catholic—back in April, before a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion refueled the abortion debate. The archbishop said his attempts to speak with the Democratic lawmaker were unsuccessful, so he took to the internet to issue Pelosi an ultimatum: either publicly repudiate her pro-choice stance or be banned from receiving Communion in her hometown.
“Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months,” Cordileone wrote. “Just earlier this month she once again, as she has many times before, explicitly cited her Catholic faith while justifying abortion as a ‘choice,’ this time setting herself in direct opposition to Pope Francis.”
He continued: “Please know that I find no pleasure whatsoever in fulfilling my pastoral duty here. Speaker Pelosi remains our sister in Christ. Her advocacy for the care of the poor and vulnerable elicits my admiration. I assure you that my action here is purely pastoral, not political. I have been very clear in my words and actions about this.”
Nationwide protests broke out this month after the leak of a Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade. The court has since confirmed the authenticity of the document, first published by Politico, and is expected to issue a decision sometime in June or July.
Pelosi and other pro-choice lawmakers have slammed the Supreme Court for the draft opinion, saying it “slapped women in the face.”
“This is about something so serious and so personal and so disrespectful of women,” she told CBS’ Face the Nation this month. “Here we are on Mother’s Day, a week where the court has slapped women in the face in terms of disrespect for their judgments about the size and timing of their families [...] The fact is that we have been fighting for a woman’s right to choose. We have been fighting against the Republicans in the Congress constantly because the fact is there — and not just anti-woman’s right to choose in terms of terminating a pregnancy — but in terms of access to contraception and family planning and the rest, both domestically and globally.”