Catholics “absolutely” can not support the killing of unborn babies in abortions, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Tuesday in an interview with Fox & Friends.
The archbishop spoke with host Steve Doocy about a pastoral letter that he published over the weekend, explaining why Catholics who persist in supporting abortion may be denied Communion.
“Can you be a devout practicing Catholic and support abortion?” Doocy asked.
“Absolutely not, absolutely not,” Cordileone responded. “We’re talking about killing innocent human beings. So this is a very serious matter. Anyone who cooperates in that is involving themselves in a very serious sin, and absolutely not. That’s not possible.”
The archbishop said he wrote the letter to help people understand the gravity of the issue of abortion. Since 1973, more than 62 million unborn babies have been killed in abortions in America.
“This is not one policy issue among several. This is the most fundamental right. It’s the right to life,” he said.
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When asked if he would refuse Communion to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who lives in San Francisco and supports abortion while professing to be a Catholic, Cordileone said he would begin with a private conversation to correct and urge repentance first.
“As I mentioned [in the letter], these conversations have to take place before a move like that would have to happen,” he said. “I believe in the case of Speaker Pelosi, she understands my abiding by church teaching, and I don’t think I would envision that situation actually happening.
“But it’s more a matter of avoiding the scandal that can be caused when prominent Catholics in whatever walk of life are advocating something that’s denial of a basic human right, and claiming to be a good Catholic in good conscience. I need to be very clear in the teaching: Catholics do not deny fundamental human rights and remain in good standing in the church,” the archbishop continued.
One section of Cordileone’s letter specifically addressed the problem of Catholic public figures who promote the killing of unborn babies in abortions. First, he said these public figures should be confronted privately, corrected and urged to repent; but those who stubbornly persist in evil may be denied Communion.
“When other avenues are exhausted, the only recourse a pastor has left is the public medicine of temporary exclusion from the Lord’s Table,” Cordileone wrote. “This is a bitter medicine, but the gravity of the evil of abortion can sometimes warrant it.”
The archbishop did not mention any politicians or political parties by name in his letter, but it is timely. Catholic Church leaders are debating whether President Joe Biden, a radical pro-abortion Democrat who professes to be a devout Catholic, should continue to be allowed to participate in the Eucharist.
Quoting Ezekiel 33:8, the archbishop said Catholic leaders have a duty to call out wickedness or else be held responsible along with those who persist in sinning.
“I tremble that if I do not forthrightly challenge Catholics under my pastoral care who advocate for abortion, both they and I will have to answer to God for innocent blood,” Cordileone continued.
He said everyone sins, but “there is a great difference between struggling to live according to the teachings of the Church and rejecting those teachings.”
Cordileone and other Catholic leaders have been speaking out against prominent Catholic politicians like Pelosi and Biden because of their support for the killing of unborn babies. At their June meeting, the U.S. bishops are scheduled to vote on a document from their Committee on Doctrine “with the aim of clarifying the church’s stance” on pro-abortion politicians and Communion, the Associated Press reports.
Though Biden professes to be a devout Catholic, he openly defies church teachings about the sanctity of human life. After just 100 days in office, he already surpassed President Barack Obama as the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history by ending safety regulations that protect mothers and unborn babies from abortion and forcing taxpayers to fund the billion-dollar abortion industry.