The conservative archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, says House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may no longer receive the holy sacrament of Communion in the archdiocese, because she supports abortion rights.
In a letter to Pelosi released Friday afternoon, the archbishop wrote that he had informed the California Democrat 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,” he continued. “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.”
Last year, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly to approve a document that fell far short of refusing Holy Communion to President Joe Biden or others who support abortion rights, something conservatives in the Church have pushed for in spite of guidance from Pope Francis.
Biden, while visiting Italy last year, said Pope Francis told him he was happy he was a “good Catholic” and said he should continue receiving Communion.
Biden, who is a lifelong devout Catholic, was denied Communion in 2019 at a Catholic church in South Carolina over his support for abortion rights.
Pope Francis has spoken out against the moves by some American bishops to permit individual bishops to deny Communion to politicians who support abortion rights. The Communion refusal movement is driven by a more conservative wing of the Catholic Church.