On May 21, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone banned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion. Now four other bishops have followed suit. The reason? They point to Pelosi’s support for abortion and her support for the Women’s Health And Protection Act, the Democrats failed abortion bill, as the reason for their decision.
The same day Cordileone barred Pelosi, Bishop Robert Vasa did the same to the battered House Speaker and banned her from the Diocese of Santa Rosa. His diocese borders Cordileone’s archdiocese.
“I have visited with the pastor at St Helena and informed him that if the Archbishop prohibited someone from receiving Holy Communion then that restriction followed the person and that the pastor was not free to ignore it,” Vasa’s statement about Pelosi read.
In quick succession, Bishop Micahel Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, in Virginia, and Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, followed suit on Wednesday and backed Cordileone in his banning of Pelosi.
This group of mentioned pastors has come under fire from others in the Catholic church after they brought up whether Biden should be denied sacrament for his support of abortion earlier in his term. They’ve been accused by others as having “weaponized” the Eucharist for political gain.
Vasa referenced canon in his decision when he “makes it clear that providing sacraments to someone prohibited from receiving them has its own possible penalties” in his statement released Friday. Vasa believes that he too could be punished for knowingly administering sacrament to “those who are prohibited from receiving it.”
Canon 915 states: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”
Burbidge made his statement on a podcast where he said he intends to respect Cordileone’s ban on Pelosi because “he is her bishop and as that bishop the direction and guidance he provides is not limited to just a geographical area.”
Two days after Cordileone’s letter banning her, the embattled Pelosi received Communion at the Jesuit church in Washington. She was attended by Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington. He said that he was displeased with the banning of politicians from Communion in response to Cordileone.
On Friday, Portland’s Catholic Archbishop Alexander Sample also seemed to come out in support of Cordileone in a video he posted on Facebook.
Pelosi has been obviously incensed by the bans.
Pelosi went on MSNBC’s show Morning Joe last week to ponder why supporters of the death penalty, often times Republicans, weren’t also being banned. She said, “I wonder about the death penalty, which I am opposed to. So is the church but they take no action against people who may not share their view.”
She then emphasized her own family’s pro-Life stance, claiming she has respect for pro-life advocates despite her constant push to expand abortion in the United States. “We just have to be prayerful, we have to be respectful. I come from a largely pro-life Italian American Catholic family, so I respect people’s views about that, but I don’t respect us foisting it onto others.”
Do you think it is right that Pelosi should be banned from receiving communion?