Pro-Abortion House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Will Meet With Pope Benedict
by Steven Ertelt
February 16, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the top pro-abortion Catholics in elected office in the United States, will meet with Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday during a week-long trip to Italy. The meeting will likely occur after the pope’s weekly general audience.
Pelosi describes herself as an "ardent" Catholic but the San Francisco-based congresswoman has taken a consistent pro-abortion stance in defiance of Catholic pro-life teachings.
She has a long-time pro-abortion voting record, according to the National Right to Life Committee, and has repeatedly voted against a ban on partial-birth abortions and against efforts to stop direct taxpayer funding of abortions.
The visit of the House speaker also comes at a time when The Vatican has been upset by the actions of President Barack Obama, who signed an executive order forcing Americans to pay for groups that promote and perform abortions overseas.
Deal Hudson, a respected Catholic author and journalist, commented on the Pelosi visit.
"With the debilitating illness of Sen. Ted Kennedy, Pelosi has become the de facto leader of dissident Catholic members of Congress," he explained.
Hudson says Pelosi has a long relationship with dissident Catholics and pointed to her relationship with Rev. Robert Drinan, who she chose as the celebrant of the Mass held in her honor when she became Speaker in January 2006.
"The late Father Drinan, a longtime professor of law at Georgetown University, had been the architect of the arguments now used as cover by Catholic politicians who wish to dodge the abortion issue," Hudson said. "This effort began in 1964, when Father Drinan was among a small group of theologians who visited Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, to school the Kennedy clan on how to finesse the abortion issue in politics."
Noting Pelosi’s pro-abortion voting record, Hudson also referred to the recent dustup concerning funding for Planned Parenthood in the economic stimulus bill.
She came under heavy criticism from critics who say she implied children hurt the economy.
In an interview, Pelosi defended the move to fund the abortion business and said it would help during a tough economic situation.
"Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children’s health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs," she said.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded to the comments and told LifeNews.com he thought Pelosi was saying the birth of children hurts the economy.
Looks like the Democrats have abortion and contraception on the brain. Last week, President Barack Obama lifted restrictions on federal funds being used to promote and perform abortions overseas," he said.
"Now we have Pelosi arguing that the way to balance the budget is not by cutting expenditures, but by cutting kids," he added.
In August, Pelosi also came under fire from pro-life Catholics for misrepresenting the views of the Catholic Church on abortion. Pelosi claimed the Catholic Church only recently came to the conclusion that human life begins at conception.
"Thus, the news that Pelosi will meet with Benedict spread like wildfire through the Catholic blogs last Thursday. Many Catholics, disgusted with her rabid pro-abortion politics, were outraged that the pope would agree to meet with her at all," Hudson said.
Hudson thinks it is a good idea for the Holy Father to meet with Pelosi "because one can never underestimate the impact of being in his presence."
"Benedict will very likely make comments criticizing the Obama administration for ending the Mexico City Policy and warning the new Congress against passing the Freedom of Choice Act," he said.
Just as important as Pelosi’s meeting with the Pope, Hudson says, is whether she receives communion.
"Will she attend Mass? Will she receive communion? How many from the media will be present? How widely will the photos and videos of her reception be spread around the world? How many of her fellow pro-abortion Catholics will be at her side?" Hudson asks.
"Pelosi, of course, should be denied communion, but it is unlikely to happen," he says.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.