Updated May 20, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Nancy Pelosi's Catholic archbishop bans her from receiving communion

Nancy Pelosi

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has been barred from receiving communion until she ends her support for abortion, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Friday.

Driving the news: "After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, an the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion," Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, tweeted of the California Democrat.

  • A spokesperson for Pelosi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Diving in: Cordileone explained in a letter to priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Friday that his decision to bar Pelosi was "pastoral, not political.”

  • “I have been very clear all along, in both my words and my actions, that my motive is pastoral, not political," he wrote in the letter.
  • Pope Francis previously said Catholic bishops should not let their politics influence pastoral decisions.

Context: Pelosi has described herself as a devout Catholic while remaining supportive of abortion rights and Roe v. Wade, per the Catholic News Agency.

  • She acknowledged that her opinion on abortion is at odds with the Catholic church's teachings.
  • “This [topic] really gets me burned up in case you didn't notice, because again I'm very Catholic, devout, practicing, all of that. They would like to throw me out. But I'm not going because I don't want to make their day,” she said.

A leaked draft opinion from Supreme Court showed conservative justices are prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade. Democrats have pushed to codify the ruling into federal law.

The big picture: Biden said Pope Francis told him to "keep receiving communion” when they met last year. They did not speak about abortion, according to the president.

  • "We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion,” Biden said.
  • Earlier this year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops debated whether or not politicians who support abortion should be denied communion or not, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez writes.

Go deeper: What abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned

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