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Tipsheet

Nancy Pelosi Receives Communion at Vatican, Despite Order from Local Bishop

Vatican Media via AP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) continued to cause a stir in the Catholic Church when she received communion on Wednesday at the Vatican, according to a report from the Associated Press, which cites witnesses there. This comes despite Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Pelosi's hometown archbishop in San Francisco, last month barring her from receiving communion due to her pro-abortion position, which conflicts with the Church's unequivocal pro-life position. She was there with her husband, Paul Pelosi, who was just last week charged with a misdemeanor offense of DUI with Injury. 

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According to the report: 

Pelosi attended the morning Mass marking the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul, during which Francis bestowed the woolen pallium stole on newly consecrated archbishops. She was seated in a VIP diplomatic section of the basilica and received Communion along with the rest of the congregants, according to two people who witnessed the moment.

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Speaking to a crowd of ambassadors, Vatican officials and other Rome-based Americans, Pelosi noted the Catholic virtues of faith, hope and charity and the important role they play in the U.S. Embassy’s mission. 

“Faith is an important gift, not everyone has it but it is the path to so many other things,” she told the crowd.

Pelosi met with Francis on Wednesday before the Mass and received a blessing, according to one of the Mass attendees. A photo released by the Vatican showed Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi, greeting Francis off to the side of the basilica.

In barring Pelosi from receiving communion, Archbishop Cordileone noted that they had spoken several times but that Pelosi had not backed down, and barring her from receiving communion was in line with canon law 915. He called for prayers for the speaker as well in a letter to the faithful

Speaking about a letter from April, Cordileone noted that he directed Pelosi to "publically repudiate your advocacy for abortion 'rights' or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion." 

Pelosi has done no such thing. She has once more communicated her strong support for unlimited abortion by condemning the U.S. Supreme Court's move last Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade with its Dobbs v. Jackson decision. 

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The speaker also continues to be Catholic. Earlier this month, when refusing to condemn attacks from radical pro-abortion activists who have been targeting pro-life pregnancy centers, Pelosi not only doubled down on her support for abortion but claimed to be a "very Catholic person." 

As the Associated Press report noted, Pelosi "has spoken openly about the Catholic faith, including at a diplomatic reception at the residence of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See on Tuesday evening marking Independence Day." 

The report sought to portray a rift between the Catholic Church when it comes to Pope Francis' position: 

Francis has strongly upheld the church’s opposition to abortion, and on Wednesday said church leaders must “continue to care for human life.” But in his homily, Francis also instructed the new archbishops to welcome everyone into the church, including sinners, and to not “remain pinned to some of our fruitless debates.” 

“So many times we become a church with open doors, but only to send people away, to condemn them,” he said.

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Pelosi’s partaking of the sacrament inside the Vatican during a Mass presided over by the pope was even more significant, and a sign of Francis’ unwillingness to refuse Communion. Francis has described the Eucharist as “not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” 

Asked about some U.S. bishops who wanted to refuse Biden the sacrament, Francis told reporters during an airborne press conference in September that priests shouldn’t be politicians and condemn their flock but should be pastors who accompany the faithful with tenderness and compassion.

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Not only does Pope Francis stick by Church teaching on abortion, as the report acknowledges, but as the report leaves out, he recently amended canon law to give local bishops more control. 

Further, a compilation of input from bishops across the country shows that many agree with Cordileone's move. 

Archbishop Cordileone did not at all tweet on Wednesday, the day it was reported Pelosi took communion. Most of the recent tweets from his account are in celebration of the Dobbs decision and of the pro-life movement that brought us to such a moment. 

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