SAN FRANCISCO — The conservative Catholic archbishop of San Francisco said Friday that he would no longer allow U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to receive Communion because of her support for abortion rights.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in his notification to Pelosi that he sent her a letter April 7 expressing his concerns after she vowed to codify the Supreme Court's Row vs. Wade decision into law once Texas approved a law banning most abortions. He said Pelosi never responded.
Cordileone said he told Pelosi in the April letter that she must either repudiate her support of abortion rights or stop speaking publicly about her Catholic faith and that if she didn't, he would have no other choice but to declare she is not allowed to receive Communion.
"I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” he wrote.
Cordileone said in a separate letter Friday to church members that he had requested to meet with Pelosi six separate times and her office didn’t respond or told him she was busy.
“After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion," he wrote.
Throughout the past year, Cordileone has been among the most outspoken U.S. bishops advocating that Communion be denied to President Joe Biden and other politicians who support abortion rights.
However, each bishop has authority in his own diocese on this matter, and the archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, has affirmed that Biden is welcome to receive the sacrament there.
Last November, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly approved a long-anticipated document on Communion that stopped short of calling for withholding the sacrament from politicians who support abortion rights but offered justifications for individual bishops to do so.
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