Pelosi Barred From Receiving Communion In San Francisco Over Roe v. Wade Support


San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a self-described “devout Catholic,” should not receive Holy Communion over her support for codifying Roe v. Wade, which the archbishop said was an act of “grave sin.”

Key Facts

Cordileone slammed Pelosi for publicly associated herself with the Catholic faith, saying support for abortion rights is at irreconcilable odds with Catholic doctrine.

The move marks a significant escalation in tensions between Pelosi and the leader of the Catholic faith in her district, who have publicly clashed over Pelosi’s support for abortion rights numerous times since his 2012 appointment as archbishop.

The decree only applies to churches within the San Francisco Archdiocese.

A spokesman for Pelosi did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbes.

Crucial Quote

“A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others,” Cordileone said.

Chief Critic

Catholics for Choice President Jamie Manson blasted Cordileone’s move, saying the archbishop “is waging a culture war” and singled out Pelosi because she is a woman. “It bears repeating that no woman has had any influence or voice in the development of any of church doctrines on sexuality or reproductive health,” Manson said.

Key Background

Pelosi has long been a vocal supporter of abortion rights, and supported an ultimately unsuccessful effort from Democrats to codify Roe v. Wade after a leaked opinion signaled the Supreme Court is set to overturn the nationwide right to an abortion. Conservative Catholics have long criticized Pelosi for her stance, while calls to deny communion to prominent Catholics in U.S. politics, including President Joe Biden, have grown recently.

Surprising Fact

The Vatican sent a letter to U.S. bishops last year advising them against making decisions that could be seen as political, specifically when it comes to abortion. The letter noted it would be inaccurate to single out abortion as one of the “only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest accountability on the part of Catholics.”

Further Reading

Biden Brushes Off Bishops’ Communion Vote: ‘I Don’t Think That’s Going To Happen’ (Forbes)

Vatican Warns U.S. Bishops About Denying Communion To Supporters Of Abortion Rights (NPR)