ROME — Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila released a statement Friday in support of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for barring Nancy Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion because of her aggressive abortion advocacy.
“I support and commend my brother bishop for making this courageous, compassionate, and necessary decision,” Archbishop Aquila said in his statement. “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.”
“As I have previously written and Archbishop Cordileone makes clear as well, this issue is not about politics or simply enforcing Church rules, but rather about love – love for the individual and love for the entire community,” Aquila continued.
In his statement, Archbishop Aquila noted that Cordileone had made “sincere and diligent efforts at dialogue and persuasion” in his dealings with Ms. Pelosi, making every attempt to “try and avoid this step.”
Nonetheless, “Church teaching is clear that people endanger their souls if they are separated from God because of grave sin and then receive the most Holy Eucharist in an unworthy manner,” he said, and true pastors must call them back to an intimate relationship with God.
When that person is a public figure, he added, “love for the community means guarding against scandal and confusion and allowing others to be led into sin if they don’t see the issue addressed in an appropriate and compassionate manner.”
In his communication, Archbishop Aquila encouraged the faithful of his own archdiocese “to read the letters written by Archbishop Cordileone, and to ask the Holy Spirit with an open heart to clear away any doubt or confusion you have about this issue, and lead you into a more intimate and full relationship with Jesus.”
“Let us pray for all political leaders, that they may govern in a way that promotes and protects the God-given dignity of every person, from conception until natural death,” he said. “And let us pray for our state and country, that we may once again view every precious life as a true gift from our heavenly Father.”