Pope Benedict XVI Tells Speaker Nancy Pelosi Catholics Must Oppose Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
February 18, 2009
The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — Pope Benedict XVI told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Wednesday meeting that Catholics have an obligation to oppose abortion. Pelosi is a longtime abortion advocate who has gone as far as supporting taxpayer funded abortions and opposing a partial-birth abortion ban.
The pontiff told the highest-ranking female politician in the United States that Catholic elected officials have a duty to protect human life "at all stages of its development."
Benedict reminded Pelosi of the Catholic Church’s teaching "on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death."
He also said Catholics, especially those put in a position to affect public policy, should promote "a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."
Pelosi spent about 15 minutes in the meeting with Pope Benedict that was closed to reporters, but the Vatican released some of his comments afterwards.
"His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural and moral law and the Churchs consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death," the Vatican said in a statement.
It said such teaching "enjoins all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men of goodwill in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."
The House Speaker released a statement after meeting with the Catholic prelate but didn’t mention his comments on abortion.
"It is with great joy that my husband, Paul, and I met with his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI today," the statement LifeNews.com obtained read. "In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church’s leadership in fighting poverty, hunger, and global warming, as well as the Holy Father’s dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel."
Pelosi said she was proud to be able to share a picture of her children and grandchildren with Benedict.
Pelosi 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.
Pro-life Catholics have been watching to see whether Pelosi receives communion during her Italian trip and visit with Vatican officials and the pope.
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