May 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi criticizes archbishop who denied her Communion

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday criticized San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone's decision to bar her from receiving Communion over her support for abortion rights, saying on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the church is inconsistent in its decisions to deny Communion over certain beliefs.

Why it matters: Cordileone has been one of the most vocal U.S. bishops advocating for the denial of Communion for politicians supportive of abortion rights, including President Biden.

  • Pope Francis previously said that Catholic bishops should not let their politics influence pastoral decisions.

What they're saying: Pelosi said Tuesday that the church opposes the death penalty but does not deny Communion to those who believe the death penalty should be used.

  • "I wonder about the death penalty, which I'm opposed to. So is the church. But they take no action against people who may not share their view," Pelosi said.
  • "It's important for women to know and families to know that this is not just about terminating a pregnancy. These same people are against contraception, family planning, in vitro fertilization. It's a blanket thing and they use abortion as the frontman for it," she added.
  • "I respect people’s views about that. But I don’t respect us foisting it onto others. Our archbishop has been vehemently against LGBTQ rights. In fact, he led the way in an initiative on the ballot in California."

Go deeper: How religion impacts Americans’ views on abortion

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