The San Francisco archbishop who banned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from Holy Communion has denied that the timing of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion indicating it may overturn Roe v. Wade had anything to do with his decision.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said during a Friday interview that the California Democrat lawmaker’s views on abortion are getting ‘more extreme’ and said his ‘conscience’ made him act against her within the church.
He’s been called on to step down over the decision by an op-ed by the San Francisco Examiner’s Editorial Board, who accused Cordileone of acting ‘in open defiance’ of the Catholic Church’s current leader Pope Francis on Saturday.
‘The leaked decision and the Dobbs case really have nothing to do with the timing of it,’ Cordileone told the Jesuit publication America Magazine, adding that Pelosi ‘did meet with me and speak with me over the years a couple of times.’
‘But more recently, her advocacy for codifying the Roe decision into federal law—it’s becoming more and more extreme and more and more aggressive.’
The archbishop suggested he tried to reach out to Pelosi over the matter but to no avail.
‘I’ve been trying to speak with her about this. I’ve been debating this within my own conscience for many years, actually. So this is not something that has just come up recently,’ he said.
‘I’ve done a lot of prayer and fasting. So I’ve been struggling with this for a long time.’
He said in a statement on Friday that Pelosi will not be admitted to communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and cannot present herself to receive the Eucharist, until she backs away from her support for abortion.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said he wrestled with his ‘conscience’ over banning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from Communion
Cordileone previously waded into political waters as part of a push to ban President Joe Biden from Communion, which had run into opposition from Pope Francis.
The fallout is over Pelosi’s push to codify federal abortion protections. The bill failed in the Senate after the Democratic leader successfully shepherded it through the House of Representatives.
Earlier this month, a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion revealed the judicial body’s conservative majority appears poised to return the issue of abortion to the states by overturning Roe v. Wade. If it happens, 26 states are poised to immediately ban or limit abortion.
Cordileone said that by banning Pelosi over the matter he was ‘following the advice that Pope Benedict’ had ‘sent in a letter to bishops here in the United States back in 2004.’
‘He gave us advice on how to approach this, specifically with politicians, Catholic politicians, and specifically on the two issues of abortion and euthanasia,’ he said.
‘And he said we need to meet, to dialogue, to try to move them down the path of conversion. And if after several attempts it comes to the point where it’s clear [that] this is not going to happen, then the bishop or the pastor, [Pope Benedict] says, is to declare that the person is not to be admitted to holy Communion.’
There are 18 states that have near-total bans on their books, while four more have time-limit bans and four others are likely to pass new bans if Roe is overturned
He claimed to believe Pelosi that she’s a devout Catholic, adding ‘which makes me perplexed at why she would be so forceful on this issue as a politician.’
‘It’s very tricky as a politician; there are so many issues to balance out and trying to come to some kind of consensus and compromise and all that. But to be so aggressively promoting it—that’s not what a devout Catholic does,’ Cordileone said.
The archbishop, however, has made some morally questionable decisions himself – which have sparked outrage amongst members of the Catholic faith.
The minister was arrested and jailed on a drunk driving charge in August 2012 shortly after having been appointed as archbishop. He later joked about the arrest.
He also came under fire in 2021 when he refused to release an official list of clergy who were ‘credibly’ accused of child sexual abuse. He also filed a motion, along with other California bishops, asking a judge to throw out a 2019 law that allowed accusers of clergy sexual abuse to sue even if they were molested decades ago.
Then-Bishop Cordileone was arrested on August 25, 2012 after being stopped at a DUI checkpoint near San Diego State University.
He, his mother and a visiting priest from Germany had attended dinner with some of Cordileone’s friends, during which he was drinking.
Then-Bishop Cordileone was arrested on August 25, 2012 after being stopped at a DUI checkpoint near San Diego State University. Officials say his blood-alcohol level was 0.11. Cordileone (center) is pictured during Easter Mass on April 4, 2021
After the meal, he decided to drive his mother home. Officials say his blood-alcohol level was 0.11 – above California’s legal limit of 0.08.
He was arrested and charged with a DUI, however in October accepted a plea for the lesser charge of reckless driving, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported at the time.
Cordileone was ordered to pay a fine and placed on a three-year probation. He was also required to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim-impact panel and a three-month first conviction program through the state DMV.
Shortly after his arrest, Cordileone issued a statement apologizing for his ‘error in judgment’ and asked for forgiveness from his family, friends and Diocese colleagues.
He later joked about the drunken-driving arrest during his formal archbishop installation ceremony.
‘I know in my life God has always had a way of putting me in my place. I would say, though, that in the latest episode of my life God has outdone himself,’ he chuckled as he addressed the ceremony audience of more than 2,000 on Oct. 4, 2012.
He went on to say he did not know ‘if it’s theologically correct to say God has a way of making himself known in this way,’ and asked for the indulgence of other high-ranking church leaders in the audience.
Cordileone later joked about the drunken-driving arrest during his formal archbishop installation ceremony in October 2012 (pictured)
His mother, Mary Cordileone, previously said she blamed herself for her son’s DUI, telling KMFB-TV: ‘We were invited to some friend’s house and he loved his wine and they kept filling his glass and filling his glass. And I didn’t want to seem like a bossy mother. I should’ve told him, ‘You’re drinking too much wine.”
During that same August 2012 interview, she warned she was worried her son – who has openly opposed gay marriage – would struggle in San Francisco due its gay population.
‘Its gonna be a tough job because, you know he’s always preached against same-sex marriages and then the gays are very active there,’ she told the TV station.
Cordileone was slammed by the public again in 2021, after he and several other California Roman Catholic bishops filed a motion asking judges to rule Assembly Bill 218, known as the California Child Victims Act, unconstitutional.
The bill allows alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse to sue even if they were molested decades ago.
The motion argued the law revives ‘long-expired claims’ that already had been revived under an extension in 2003, ‘making it inevitable that witnesses will have died, memories faded, and documents may have been lost. This reality absolutely impairs the defendants’ ability to defend themselves.’
It also argued that the law ‘seeks to correct an injustice that does not exist with regard to the church defendants,’ adding that ‘the Legislature had no evidence of widespread abuse after 2003 and no evidence of cover-up.’
The bishops, at the time, said they had ‘great remorse for crimes committed against victims’ and have made reforms, the motion said.
The law has ultimately upheld and deemed constitutional.
Cordileone (left on banner) came under fire in 2021 when he refused to release an official list of clergy who were ‘credibly’ accused of child sexual abuse. He also joined in filing a motion asking a judge to throw out a 2019 law that allowed accusers of clergy sexual abuse to sue even if they were molested decades ago. Attorney Jeff Anderson (left in 2018) accused the archbishop of ‘risking of another child suffering the same horrors’
Cordileone, along with his colleagues, were blasted by abuse survivors and advocates for failing to condemn sexual predators.
The archbishop was also criticized after he neglected to release the names of all credibly accused clergy in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
Jeff Anderson and Associates, which organized a June 2021 rally targeting the bishop, alleged that the ‘vast majority’ of American bishops had published information about about proven, admitted, and credibly accused predatory clerics.
The group said the San Francisco Archdiocese of San Francisco, overseen by Cordileone, was one of only 16 dioceses refusing to disclose names. They accused him of contributing to the increased risk of child sex assaults.
‘As long as the names of known perpetrators are kept secret, the children of San Francisco remain in immediate peril,’ attorney Jeff Anderson said in a July 2021 press release. ‘Every day he chooses secrecy over accountability runs the risk of another child suffering the same horrors and shame as those carried by hundreds of adult survivors today.’
After Cordileone refused to release data about his fellow clergy, Anderson and Associates published a report detailing allegations against more than 200 clergy across the three dioceses of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cordileone has barred Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (pictured May 13) from the Holy Communion after she voted to codify Roe. V Wade
Cordileone on Friday banned Pelosi from Holy Communion due to her stance on abortion.
President Joe Biden, who describes himself as a devout Catholic and regularly attends mass, has also been threatened with being barred from communion because of his pro-choice stance.
Conservative catholic bishops have said neither him nor Pelosi should be allowed to receive communion, but the top Democrat has previously brushed aside feuds with the Church as a ‘disagreement’.
‘Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi’s position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months,’ Cordileone says in the letter.
‘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,’
‘After numerous attempts to speak with her (Pelosi) to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,’ he adds.
‘Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.
Cordileone insisted that the decision was ‘pastoral’ and not ‘political’. DailyMail.com has reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls abortion ‘evil’ and the teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable’.
Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,’ it says, before calling abortion and infanticide ‘abominable crimes.’
Pelosi, who has five children, was pressed on abortion after the Roe v. Wade opinion leaked to Politico and sent shockwaves across the country.
Last month she said: ‘This [topic] really gets me burned up in case you didn’t notice, because again I’m very Catholic, devout, practicing, all of that.
‘They would like to throw me out. But I’m not going because I don’t want to make their day.’
In a 2008 interview with C-SPAN, Pelosi said being denied Communion would be ‘a severe blow, the Catholic News Agency reported.
She added that the Church has ‘not been able to make that definition’ of where life begins. Pelosi also added that abortion should be ‘rare’, but it ‘shouldn’t impact on a woman’s right to choose’.
Pelosi has only been barred from communion in San Francisco, and it is up to Catholic bishops in other parts of the country whether she be allowed.
Biden threw his weight behind a woman’s right to choose during his presidential campaign in 2020, saying it is ‘fundamental’.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has rebuked Biden over his stance on abortion.
But he has continued to attend mass after Pope Francis told him in October 2021 during a meeting in Rome that he could continue to take the holy sacrament.
Pope Francis told Biden he was a ‘good Catholic’, and urged bishops to make ‘pastoral’ and not political decisions when deciding how to treat politicians who favor abortion.
Pelosi also met Pope Francis in October.
After the Roe v. Wade leak, Biden doubled-down on his belief that women have a ‘fundamental’ right to an abortion and called on American voters to ‘elect pro-choice officials this November’.
He also warned that other ‘fundamental’ rights for Americans – such as same-sex marriage – could be at risk if the Supreme Court overturns Roe.
Cordileone (pictured in 2015) said in a statement on Friday that Pelosi will not be admitted to Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and cannot present herself to receive the Eucharist, until she backs away from her support for abortion
Nancy Pelosi met Pope Francis during a trip to the Vatican in October 2021. She has said in the past that being denied communion would be a ‘blow’
In June, Catholic bishops ignored a pointed Vatican attempt to find unity over abortion by approving the drafting of a ‘teaching document’ for Catholic politicians who support abortion.
Cardinal Luis Ladaria, the prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s theological watchdog, has tried to intervene in the rebuke from US bishops.
He wrote to the Conference of Catholic Bishops last year saying it would be ‘misleading’ to suggest abortion and euthanasia were ‘the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching’ that require ‘the fullest level of accountability on the part of Catholics.’
In so doing, he signaled how the liberal Catholicism of Pope Francis – with a focus on poverty, racial inequality, climate change – is increasingly at odds with the U.S. Church.
Brian Church, the president of CatholicVote, a conservative non-profit advocacy group, told DailyMail.com in a statement: ‘Catholics across America commend Archbishop Cordileone and his pastoral leadership in handling the scandal posed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
‘For too long Catholic public officials have created confusion and disunity by advocating for policies that destroy innocent human life – in direct contradiction of the teachings of the Catholic faith.
‘The persistent disobedience of these public officials is a source of enormous sadness and scandal that begged for a response.
‘The Church has no choice but to protect itself and to encourage all of its members to live in communion with its teachings. For the sake of Speaker Pelosi and the rest of the flock in his charge, Archbishop Cordileone is right to call her to return to full communion with the Church. We hope and pray she will do so.’
‘You are not to be admitted to Holy Communion’: Archbishop Cordileone’s letter to Nancy Pelosi in full
The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes, reiterated the Church’s ancient and consistent teaching that ‘from the first moment of conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes’ (n. 51). Christians have, indeed, always upheld the dignity of human life in every stage, especially the most vulnerable, beginning with life in the womb. His Holiness, Pope Francis, in keeping with his predecessors, has likewise been quite clear and emphatic in teaching on the dignity of human life in the womb.
This fundamental moral truth has consequences for Catholics in how they live their lives, especially those entrusted with promoting and protecting the public good of society. Pope St. John Paul II was also quite consistent in upholding this constant teaching of the Church, and frequently reminded us that ‘those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose’ any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them’ (cf. Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life [November 24, 2002], n. 4, §1). 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. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 915).
With regard to the application of these principles to Catholics in political life, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to the U.S. bishops in 2004 explaining the approach to be taken:
In striving to follow this direction, I am grateful to you for the time you have given me in the past to speak about these matters.
Unfortunately, I have not received such an accommodation to my many requests to speak with you again since you vowed to codify the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in federal law following upon passage of Texas Senate Bill 8 last September.
That is why I communicated my concerns to you via letter on April 7, 2022, and informed you there that, should you not publically repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.
As you have not publically repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come. Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.
Please know that I stand ready to continue our conversation at any time, and will continue to offer up prayer and fasting for you.
I also ask all of the faithful of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to pray for all of our legislators, especially Catholic legislators who promote procured abortion, that with the help and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they may undergo a conversion of heart in this most grave matter and human life may be protected and fostered in every stage and condition of life.
Given at San Francisco, on the nineteenth day of May, in the Year of our Lord 2022.
Biden press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tears into Oklahoma’s ‘extreme’, ‘absurd’ and ‘ultra MAGA’ law that bans abortions at fertilization – and says contraception and same-sex marriage are next
The White House has unleashed dury at Oklahoma’s new abortion bill that bans terminations at the fertilization.
President Joe Biden’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a blistering statement on Thursday night calling the new legislation ‘absurd’, ‘extreme’ and part of the ‘ultra-MAGA’ movement to ‘roll back the freedoms we should not take for granted in this country’.
She also said other ‘fundamental rights’ such as contraceptives and same-sex marriage are at risk in her response sent out just before Biden landed in South Korea.
It comes as the administration throws its weight behind protecting reproductive rights after the leak of the Roe v. Wade draft which suggests the landmark ruling will be overturned.
President Joe Biden’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a blistering statement on Thursday night calling Oklahoma;s new abortion ban ‘absurd’, ‘extreme’ and part of the ‘ultra-MAGA’ movement to ‘roll back the freedoms we should not take for granted in this country’
‘The President believes that women have the fundamental right to make their own reproductive health choices,’ Jean-Pierre said.
She added that the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade ‘has been the law of the land for almost 50 years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned’.
‘Today’s action by the Oklahoma legislature is the most extreme effort to undo these fundamental rights we have seen to date,’ the press secretary said. ‘In addition, it adopts Texas’ absurd plan to allow private citizens to sue their neighbors for providing reproductive health care and helping women to exercise their constitutional rights’.
‘This is part of a growing effort by ultra MAGA officials across the country to roll back the freedoms we should not take for granted in this country,’ Jean-Pierre added.
Republicans ‘are starting with reproductive rights, but the American people need to know that other fundamental rights, including the right to contraception and marriage equality, are at risk’, she also said on the first day of the President’s trip to Asia.
The bill was given final approval by the state’s conservative-majority legislature on Thursday, and is now headed to GOP Governor Kevin Stitt. He has already indicated he will sign it.
It comes on the heels of a leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that suggests justices are considering weakening or overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nearly 50 years ago.
The bill by Collinsville Republican Rep. Wendi Stearman would prohibit all abortions, except to save the life of a pregnant woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement.
She defended it by saying that pro-choice arguments are so cruel it may as well be legal to abort children up until the age of 18.
Addressing the legislature Thursday, Stearman said: ‘It would solve many problems. Think of the disruptions in school.’
Vice President Kamala Harris was among those who condemned the new bill, branding it ‘outrageous.’
News of the bill sparked panic among women who feared they’d no longer be able to use popular methods of contraception including IUDs, or Plan B.
It is taken up to 72 hours after a sexual encounter which may have resulted in a pregnancy, meaning any woman who took the pill may be carrying a fertilized egg.
But Oklahoma lawmakers have insisted that Plan B has not been banned. Couples trying for a baby also feared the law outlawed IVF, but lawmakers say that is not the case.