ROME — A flurry of U.S. bishops have rallied behind San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has barred Nancy Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion because of her aggressive abortion advocacy.
As of May 23, at least 13 U.S. bishops have made public statements praising and thanking Archbishop Cordileone for the move, which was variously described as “courageous,” “heroic,” and “compassionate.”
Lincoln Bishop James Conley, for instance, said he supports 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.”
“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,” Bishop Conley continued. “Let us pray that all people recognize the dignity of every human soul: man, woman and child, born and unborn.”
Madison Bishop Donald Hying said he backs the archbishop’s “prudent decision” to recognize that Speaker 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.”
Green Bay Bishop David Ricken offered his “strong support” for Archbishop Cordileone’s decision that Nancy Pelosi not be admitted to Holy Communion.
“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 though her words and actions,” Bishop Ricken added.
Providence Bishop Thomas Tobin said that Archbishop Cordileone had written “a thoughtful, well-reasoned and compassionate letter that accurately reflects the teaching and the law of the Church,” adding that he fully supports the archbishop’s statement.
“All Catholics need to be in union with the Church, spiritually prepared, and in the state of grace, before they presume to approach the Table of the Lord to receive Holy Communion,” he said.
Oakland Bishop Michael Barber declared his support for Archbishop Cordileone in the “heroic and compassionate stance” he took for the protection and defense of human life. Citing Pope Francis, Bishop Barber said: “Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ.”
Last September, Pope Francis said the reason for the Catholic Church’s steadfastness on the matter of abortion is because it is “murder.”
Regarding abortion, “it is more than a problem, it is a murder,” Francis said, and “whoever performs an abortion kills, any way you look at it.”
“Pick up any embryology textbook for medical students,” the pontiff continued. “By the third week after conception, all the organs are already there, all of them, even the DNA … It’s a human life!”
“This human life must be respected, this principle is so clear!” he added.
“This is why the Church is so hard on this issue, because if it accepts this it is as if it accepts daily murder,” he said.