In an appearance on MSNBC following Pope Francis’s address to Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the government will remain open and Planned Parenthood will remain funded.
She explained that Congress will “get the job done for the American people” and would follow the Pope’s “good guidance” to “be in dialogue” and “respect other people’s views.”
On Thursday, Pelosi told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that she was excited to meet another Pope.
“It’s pretty thrilling,” she remarked. “I don’t think there’s anything more thrilling to a Catholic than to meet a Pope.”
Pelosi continued that Pope Francis gave Congress “good guidance” to keep the government funded.
“His Holiness gave us good guidance – to be in dialogue – that was the message of Saint Thomas Merton, of Thomas Merton, in terms of dialogue – find a path, go forward… make progress, go forward… respect other people’s views, and come to solutions that do just that,” she explained. “So, I feel quite certain that we’ll keep government open because it’s the right thing to do.”
Pelosi said she is even willing to allow those who are “opposed to respect for women’s health” to express their feelings.
“I know there are those who want to express themselves as opposed to respect for women’s health – but have them express that… but our higher responsibility is to get the job done for the American people,” she continued. “That was an overriding thing of Pope Francis, to do what we come here to do for the greater good, and to do it for our home, this planet home that we have in terms of what he called yesterday – air pollution – a term very understandable by most people where climate might be a bigger term.”
“So, yes, on all the scores that he discussed… we will keep government open and we’ll do it on time,” Pelosi said.
The Democrat leader further noted that, even as a Catholic politician who has consistently supported abortion and same-sex marriage, she was not troubled when the Pope made some veiled references to the sanctity of human life and traditional marriage and family. In fact, she said it was her impression that the Pope welcomed “dialogue” and was respectful of all opinions on these issues.
Pope Francis said in his address:
I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.
Pelosi said she simply thought of her own family when Pope Francis spoke these words and was impressed with the lack of force behind them:
I think the Pope was very—shall we say diplomatic or maybe philosophical—on how he presented what he said. He honored his own guidance to us to not be condescending or judgmental in the way he phrased what he said.
When he talked about family, just moments before his speech, I showed him a picture of my family—all 20 of us—my husband and I have five children and our grandchildren—and he blessed the photo for the 50th anniversary of our marriage—and it was so thrilling for me. So, when he was talking about that, I was really thinking of my own family.
“And the fact that he was in some ways inscrutable – he said what he needed to say – and in terms of the sanctity of life, we all rose up and applauded what he had to say there, but, again, in terms of interpretation – how you hear it, how you respect it, you respect your own values in that regard,” she added. “I think he left plenty of room to respect other people’s opinions.”