San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone issued another plea to Catholics over the weekend to pray for the conversion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s heart and an end to “the culture of death.”
Cordileone and the Benedict XVI Institute began the prayer campaign in September as Pelosi led the U.S. House in passing a radical pro-abortion bill that would legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth nation-wide and force taxpayers to pay for them.
The archbishop slammed the bill as “child sacrifice,” saying it is what “one would expect from a devout Satanist, not a devout Catholic.” But Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat who professes to be Catholic, defended the bill and laughed when asked about the archbishop’s comments during a press conference.
Maggie Gallagher, executive director of the Benedict XVI Institute, said the response to their prayer campaign for Pelosi has been overwhelming.
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“As of Saturday, October 9, we have 10,688 Catholics who have committed to praying one rosary each week and fasting on Fridays through the end of October Respect Life for Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” she said Tuesday in an email. “The rapid growth is even more remarkable because as of today, this has been an entirely organic campaign.”
Cordileone also released a video Saturday encouraging more people to participate in the Rose and Rosary for Nancy Campaign.
“This is a critical time in our country when we especially need to pray for our political leaders as we see our country moving more and more in the direction of the culture of death,” he said. “Our leadership is very important so I invite you all to join me in prayer and sacrifice for the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from here in San Francisco.”
For every person who promises to pray and fast for Pelosi, the campaign will send her a rose as a symbol of those prayers, he said.
Gallagher thanked the archbishop for setting a good example by promoting charity in response to evil.
“The really hard teachings of Jesus are not really about chastity but about charity: Do good to those who do you wrong, or who do wrong to others – no matter what stage or condition of life they may be in,” she said. “We hope the Blessed Mother will touch her maternal heart, as the Archbishop has put it so beautifully, and extend her compassion and respect for the equal dignity of all people to children in the womb.”
The prayer campaign caught the attention of evangelical Protestant Christian leaders, too.
The Rev. Franklin Graham, founder of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the Rev. Billy Graham, shared an article about Cordileone’s call and encouraged all Christians to pray for Pelosi.
“I’m not Catholic, and there may be many things that San Francisco Archbishop Cordileone and I don’t agree on, but we agree that there is power in prayer!” Graham wrote on Twitter last week. “He is calling on Christians to pray and fast for Speaker Pelosi —so that she would change her stance on abortion.”
Cordileone and Pelosi repeatedly have sparred about abortion, especially in recent months as the House passed the pro-abortion “Women’s Health Protection Act.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also has been calling for prayer and fasting for the defeat of the deceptively-named bill, which now is in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would override all “meaningful” limits on late-term abortions and allow viable unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth, the bishops said. It would force taxpayers to pay for abortions, too.
Pelosi, an 81-year-old congresswoman, has a radical pro-abortion record. Among other things, she wants to force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions and force nuns who serve the poor and elderly to cover contraception that may cause abortions in their employee health plans. Once, she even called late-term abortions “sacred ground.”