Catholics and pro-life advocates of other religious persuasions have wondered for years why House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has been an ardent abortion activist for years, continues to receive communion.
In a new interview with The Wanderer, a Catholic newspaper, Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, sheds light on Pelosi and communion. He issues a call for pro-abortion politicians to be denied the sacrament — saying that Catholic Canon law must be applied to them.
Q. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, when recently questioned at a press briefing about the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did in murdering a baby born alive at 23 weeks as compared to the practice of aborting a baby moments before birth, refused to answer. Instead she is reported to have responded: “ As a practicing and respectful Catholic this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.” How are we to react to such a seemingly scandalous statement? Is this a case where Canon 915 might properly be applied? [Editor’s Note:Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law states that those who are “ obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”]
A. Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied. This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic. This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must — in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family.
What Congresswoman Pelosi is speaking of is not particular confessional beliefs or practices of the Catholic Church. It belongs to the natural moral law which is written on every human heart and which the Catholic Church obviously also teaches: that natural moral law which is so wonderfully illumined for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ by His saving teaching, but most of all by His Passion and death.
To say that these are simply questions of Catholic Faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong. I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life.
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In July, Pelosi was at it again — with another crass comment on the abortion issue. This time, she went after pro-life Republicans saying they need a lesson in Sex Education 101. She attacked pro-life legislators in state legislatures across the nation who are passing new pro-life laws to limit abortions in places like Texas and North Carolina, saying they needed a lesson on “the birds and the bees.”
The recent comments come after Pelosi put her foot in her mouth during a press conference, calling the battle to keep late-term abortions legal sacred ground.