Jun 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Pelosi receives Communion at Vatican despite support for abortion rights

Nancy Pelosi attends the mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2022 in Vatican City, Vatican.
Nancy Pelosi attends the mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29 in Vatican City. Poh

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), on a visit to the Vatican on Wednesday, received Communion during a mass presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica despite her support for abortion rights, AP reported.

Driving the news: Pelosi, an avowed Catholic, has long been a vocal proponent of abortion rights. In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision last week to overturn Roe v. Wade, Pelosi slammed the ruling in a statement, calling it "cruel" and "heart-wrenching."

  • Earlier this week, Pelosi signaled that she was preparing votes on a number of bills protecting abortion as well as codifying landmark Supreme Court decisions in response to the ruling.

The big picture: Pelosi's support for abortion rights has caused her to run afoul of some Catholic officials in the past.

  • In May, Pelosi's local archbishop, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, announced that Pelosi would be barred from receiving Communion until she ends her support for abortion.
  • Pelosi later criticized the decision, saying it was inconsistent with the church's lack of refusal to deny Communion over other beliefs.

State of play: Pelosi met with Pope Francis ahead of the mass service and received a blessing, AP reported.

  • While Francis presided over the service, he rarely distributes Communion himself. Pelosi received the sacrament from one of several priests who was distributing it, per AP.
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