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CV NEWS FEED // After Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday that he is barring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, from receiving Communion in her home Archdiocese of San Francisco, a growing number of other American bishops and archbishops have voiced their support for the decision.
As of May 27, 18 prominent Catholic churchmen have indicated their support for Cordileone.
Archbishop Joseph Fred Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City, KS
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, a previous chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued this statement the same day Cordileone announced his decision regarding Pelosi:
I applaud Archbishop Cordileone’s patient and persevering efforts to enlighten Speaker Pelosi about the moral gravity of her extreme efforts to promote, to advocate and to initiate legislation to enshrine legalized abortion into federal law. I fully support the both pastoral and courageous actions that Archbishop Cordileone has now taken in an effort to awaken Speaker Pelosi’s conscience and at the same time to protect Catholics in the Archdiocese of San Francisco and throughout the country from being confused by Speaker Pelosi’s radical support for abortion, while claiming to be a faithful Catholic. I pray that Speaker Pelosi will have a change of heart.
Bishop Donald Hying, Diocese of Madison, WI
The Diocese of Madison issued a statement from Bishop Donald Hying regarding what the Diocese called “Nancy Pelosi’s choice to separate herself from full communion with the Catholic Church.”
“I fully support Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s prudent decision to recognize that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, has persistently taken public positions in support of legal abortion, contrary to her professed Catholic faith, choosing to separate herself from full communion with the Catholic Church, and therefore is not to present herself for the reception of Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco,” Hying stated:
Archbishop Cordileone’s public statement made it clear that this serious measure is ‘purely pastoral, not political’ in a further attempt ‘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…’ This is not a decision that was made rashly, but rather one made after almost ten years of patient dialogue and repeated attempts at reconciliation with the congresswoman and the consistently held teachings of the Catholic Church. Please join me in prayer for Speaker Pelosi, that she may embrace the sacred truth and dignity of the human person, formed in the womb, in the image of God.
Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Archdiocese of Denver, CO
“I support and commend my brother bishop for making this courageous, compassionate, and necessary decision,” wrote Archbishop Samuel Aquila in a statement Friday. “I know Archbishop Cordileone to be a shepherd with the heart and mind of Christ, who truly desires to lead others towards Christ’s love, mercy, and promise of eternal salvation.”
“He has made every attempt to try and avoid this step,” Aquila added.
Bishop Joseph Strickland, Diocese of Tyler, TX
Bishop Joseph Strickland posted a report on Archbishop Cordileone’s decision on social media, adding: “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Archbishop Cordileone for loving Nancy Pelosi in the Truth of Jesus Christ!”
“Now may every bishop follow the lead of [Archbishop Cordileone] & make it clear that elected leaders who vehemently speak against the sanctity of life must be strongly corrected & if Catholic admonished to live their faith,” Strickland added.
Bishop James Conley, Diocese of Lincoln, NE
“I support Archbishop Cordileone in his courageous pastoral outreach to a member of his flock. His actions are made as a shepherd with the heart of Christ,” wrote Bishop James Conley:
We fervently pray for a conversion of heart for Speaker Pelosi and for all those who advocate for the destruction of human life in the womb. Let us pray that all people recognize the dignity of every human soul: man, woman and child, born and unborn.
Bishop Robert Vasa, Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA
Bishop Robert Vasa, “the bishop of the California diocese where Pelosi has a vacation home,” said Friday that “he will uphold the prohibition when Pelosi attends Mass in his diocese,” the Pillar reported:
Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Santa Rosa told The Pillar May 20 he has instructed priests to observe the decision of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone when Pelosi attends Mass at the parish nearby her Napa Valley vacation home and vineyard.
“I have visited with the pastor at [Pelosi’s parish] and informed him that if the Archbishop prohibited someone from receiving Holy Communion then that restriction followed the person and that the pastor was not free to ignore it,” Vasa said in a statement provided to The Pillar by the Santa Rosa diocese.
Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, Diocese of Oakland, CA
“I support [Archbishop Cordileone] in the heroic and compassionate stance he took today in the protection and defense of human life,” wrote Michael Bishop Barber on Friday. “As Pope Francis said, ‘Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ.'”
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, OK
“I applaud the courage of Archbishop Cordileone and his leadership in taking this difficult step,” wrote Archbishop Paul S. Coakley on Friday:
Let us continue to pray for Abp. Cordileone, priests of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, Speaker Pelosi, for the protection of the unborn, and for the conversion of hearts and minds.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, IL
Bishop Thomas Paprocki on Friday wrote:
I fully support and earnestly commend Archbishop Cordileone’s action in regard to Speaker Pelosi. All politicians who promote abortion should not receive holy Communion until they have repented, repaired scandal, and been reconciled to Christ and the Church.
Bishop David Ricken, Diocese of Green Bay, WI
“I wish to express my strong support for Archbishop Cordileone’s decision stating he has publicly declared that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi not be admitted to Holy Communion,” tweeted Bishop David Ricken on Friday:
Speaker Pelosi’s aggressive promotion of abortion and blatant public disregard for Church teaching has consequences. In many ways, she has made this choice herself through her words and actions. Despite repeated pastoral outreach by the Archbishop, his clear teaching on the dignity of each human life, and specific letters and requests to meet personally with Speaker Pelosi, she has chosen not to respond. Let us continue to pray for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s conversion and a greater respect for life in our country.
Bishop Liam Cary, Diocese of Baker, OR
“Representative Nancy Pelosi proudly combines ‘devout’ practice of Catholic faith in her personal life with high-profile promotion of legalized abortion in her political life,” wrote Bishop Liam Cary in a statement Friday. “The scandalizing gap between belief and behavior on the part of the Speaker of the House grievously misleads her fellow believers about Catholic teaching on social justice and seriously handicaps Catholic efforts to defend unborn life in the womb.”
Cary went on to point out Cordileones repeated pastoral efforts to discuss the matter with Pelosi, which she rebuffed. Cordileone’s notification to Pelosi set “conditions [that] invite Representative Pelosi’s return to Communion and show her the way to do so on the Church’s terms, not her own,” Cary wrote. “May our merciful Lord grant her the grace to accept them. May He strengthen Archbishop Cordileone to walk the path of courage with confidence.”
Bishop Thomas Daly, Diocese of Spokane, WA
“After many attempts to engage speaker Nancy Pelosi in a conversation about her support for abortion, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has announced that speaker Pelosi is to refrain from receiving holy communion until she answers the call to repentance,” tweeted Bishop Thomas Daly on Saturday morning. “I fully support Archbishop Cordileone. No bishop enjoys making these decisions but we are all bound to teach the truth with love, compassion and without compromise.”
Bishop Michael F. Olson, Diocese of Fort Worth, TX
“Please join me in praying for [Archbishop Cordileone] for his protection during these times as he shepherds all of his flock with perseverance and fortitude,” wrote Bishop Michael Olson on Saturday afternoon. “Please pray for the ongoing conversion of [Speaker Pelosi] and for others who place themselves at odds with the Gospel of Life.”
Bishop James S. Wall, Diocese of Gallup, NM
Bishop James Wall has approvingly shared Cordileone’s message to the faithful about Pelosi with followers on social media.
Bishop Emeritus Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI, Diocese of San Angelo, TX
Bishop Emeritus Michael Pfeifer wrote a letter of support to Cordileone. “Dear Archbishop Salvatore,” Pfeifer wrote:
I thank you for the good and important pastoral decision you have made as regards denying communion to Pelosi. You have taken the proper courageous moral decision, for her good and for the entire Body of Christ. Several months ago when we spoke on the phone you indicated that you had discussed this matter with her. How can Pelosi hold to a clear immoral position on the precious unborn? What we have always believed from sacred scriptures, and from the teaching of our beautiful Catholic church, especially with the beautiful letter of Pope St. John Paul II, on the sacredness and dignity of the unborn, that they are true human beings, human persons from the moment of conception, has now been confirmed by medical science. I was pleased to read that other American bishops and archbishops have voiced their support for this decision. I add my voice supporting your decision. How I wish though that even more brother bishops would follow your courageous pastoral decision, in this matter, and even with our president who claims to be a good Catholic, and many other Catholic politicians. You are a wonderful Christ like leader for God’s people.
Bishop Michael Burbidge, Diocese of Arlington, VA
Bishop Michael Burbidge said he would uphold Cordileone’s decision in the diocese of Arlington, VA, which borders the nation’s capital. “Speaker Pelosi has been actively pro-abortion for years and years and years, so for the archbishop to make this decision now demonstrates that he did what he could, but felt that she had no desire to align with Church teaching. I trust that he did everything possible,” said Burbidge. “I would respect the decision of Archbishop Cordileone and be consistent with that decision here in the Diocese of Arlington, should that situation occur.”
Bishop Thomas Tobin, Diocese of Providence, RI
“Archbishop Cordileone has written a thoughtful, well-reasoned and compassionate letter that accurately reflects the teaching and the law of the Church. I fully support the Archbishop’s statement,” said Bishop Thomas Tobin in a May 23 statement.
Archbishop Alexander Sample, Archdiocese of Portland, OR
“The grave significance of receiving Holy Communion should not be underestimated. It’s spiritually dangerous to approach the awesome power of God in Holy Communion with anything less than the respect it demands,” said Archbishop Alexander Sample in a May 27 video statement:
…What Archbishop Cordileone did was actually an act of pastoral love and care for Speaker Pelosi, and for all those entrusted to his pastoral care who might have been led astray by her public support of the evil of abortion. That’s why what Archbishop Cordileone did was the right thing.
Bishop Gerald Vincke, Diocese of Salina, KS
“As a Church, we need to do a better job teaching the faithful about the consequences of mortal sin, and this is a message everyone needs to hear. Often it is the politicians we publicly criticize for receiving communion while in the apparent state of mortal sin, and at times rightfully so,” said Bishop Gerald Vincke in a June 3 statement:
The most recent example of this is when Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco stated Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will no longer be able to receive Holy Communion because of her outspoken stance on abortion rights. Archbishop Cordileone stated he did this for pastoral reasons, saying he cares for the soul of Pelosi. He hopes the outcome of this situation is reconciliation. The Church has an essential role in standing up for truth and guiding others for their good. As I mentioned earlier, murder is a mortal sin. Abortion is the murder of innocent life. And while Pelosi might not have explicitly committed an abortion herself, she is one of the greatest advocates for abortion. She supports abortion in the name of women’s rights and freedom.
Bishop Joseph V. Brennan, Diocese of Fresno, CA
“In a June 6 letter addressed to clergy, seminarians, and Catholic faithful of his central California diocese, Brennan cited the need to show true concern for Pelosi’s soul and for unborn children and the need to protect Holy Communion,” reported the Catholic News Agency:
At the same time, the bishop criticized what he suggested was “virtue signaling” on the part of some Catholic politicians who approach the Eucharist as an opportunity to demonstrate their “Catholic credentials” for “a kind of spiritual photo op.”
“There is more than enough hypocrisy to go around these days — in my own life too — but it takes some kind of immense spiritual hubris and hypocrisy to waltz up for Communion while at the same time publicly ignoring and positively working against essential Church teaching and practice, much less promoting something that is intrinsically evil,” Brennan said in the letter.
Saying that Cordileone “has taken a lot of heat, in and out of the Church, for standing up for what’s right,” Brennan said he wanted to write in support of the San Francisco archbishop for several weeks.
“He chose this course of action for her persistent stand in support of abortion and for her recent participation in an effort to codify into Federal law the right to take the life of an innocent, unborn child so as to enshrine that right in the law of the land,” Brennan said.