Archbishop Cordileone hopes for progress in dialogue on Pelosi’s support for abortion – Catholic San Francisco


Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone (CNS)

May 17, 2021
Catholic News Agency

The Archbishop of San Francisco responded on Monday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Who said last week that she was “satisfied” with a recent Vatican statement on communion.

Pelosi, who is Catholic and pro-abortion, had claimed that a May 7 letter from the Vatican to American bishops ordered bishops not to “divide” on the issue of communion for pro-abortion politicians.

On Monday, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco – the original diocese of Pelosi – said the Vatican was in fact supporting “dialogue” between bishops and pro-abortion Catholic politicians “to help them understand the serious evil that they contribute to perpetuate and accompany them towards a change. of heart.”

The Vatican has also recognized the possibility of denying Holy Communion to politicians if they persist in their cooperation with legal abortion, Cordileone said. Paragraph 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law states that Catholics “obstinately persevering in grave and manifest sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion”.

“I am happy to know that President Pelosi said she was satisfied with the letter,” Bishop Cordileone said of the Vatican letter. “President Pelosi’s positive reaction to Cardinal Ladaria’s letter therefore gives hope that progress can be made in this most serious matter.”

He pointed out that legal abortion in the United States had resulted in 66 million babies “murdered in their mother’s womb.”

“This is not a judgmental issue. It is a fact, ”he said on Monday. “If we look around and see what is happening in our society today, we will see that this fact once again demonstrates that violence breeds violence.”

The Archbishop said in January, regarding Pelosi’s support for legal abortion, “No good conscience Catholic can promote abortion.”

The letter from the Vatican cited by Pelosi was written by the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – Cardinal Luis Ladaria – and addressed to the president of the American Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles.

Gomez had previously written to the congregation, informing them that the American bishops would examine the situation of Catholics in public service who support permissive laws on abortion, euthanasia or other evils.

In his letter, Cardinal Ladaria said that before issuing a “national policy” on communion, bishops must first engage in “serene” dialogue among themselves to ensure unity on the teaching of the Church. that Catholics cannot support pro-abortion laws.

Next, bishops must engage with Catholic politicians who support such laws, to understand their positions “and their understanding of Catholic teaching,” Cardinal Ladaria said.

After that, the bishops must discern the way forward to address the issue, he said.

If the bishops published a “national policy” on communion, he said such a policy should reflect the consensus of the conference, uphold the rights of local ordinaries, and be situated in the larger context of the dignity to receive Holy Communion. among all. Catholics. In addition, he must not give the impression of seeing abortion and euthanasia as the only serious ailments, the Vatican said.

Cardinal Ladaria had cited a 2004 letter from then-Cardinal Joseph Ratizinger to Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, chief American bishops, as a reference that American bishops could use on the issue of communion. He wrote that this was a “private” communication, “as these principles are therefore not published by the Conference, they may be useful for the preparation of the draft of your document”.

In his 2004 memo, Ratzinger applied canon law to the situation of Catholic politicians who “constantly campaign and vote for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws.” Such officials, Ratzinger said, were engaged in “manifest” and “formal” cooperation in grave sin.

He asked pastors to meet with them and clearly mark their break with Church teaching, informing them that they should not receive Communion. If these officials persist in their plea, then “the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.”

Ladaria also called for the 2004 letter to be read in light of the congregation’s 2002 memo on Catholic participation in politics and the importance of safeguarding the rights of ordinary people.

Archbishop Cordileone said the Vatican ordered dialogue to take place between bishops and officials.

“In his letter, Ratzinger confirmed that the constant advocacy for abortion and euthanasia constitutes formal cooperation in grave sin, and that bishops must engage with prominent Catholics in public life who do so in order to help them. to understand the grave evil they are helping to perpetrate and accompany them to change their mind, ”Cordileone said.

The 2004 letter, he added, said that “if these dialogues prove to be unsuccessful, then out of respect for the Catholic belief in what it means to receive Holy Communion, the bishop must declare that the individual no. is not admitted to communion. “

Recently, individual bishops have spoken about admission to Communion.

Last week Pelosi said, “I think I can use my own judgment” to EWTN News Nightly correspondent Erik Rosales’ question about fellowship.

Pelosi has long supported legal abortion and has advocated for taxpayer funded abortion by repealing the Hyde Amendment. She also supported the Equality Act, a law that the American Bishops’ Conference (USCCB) said would “punish” religious groups opposed to redefining marriage and transgender ideology.

She added that she was “pleased with what the Vatican has published on this subject” from Communion for Catholic Abortion Politicians, saying the Vatican statement “essentially said” don’t divide on the subject. “

In October 2019, Joe Biden was denied Communion in a parish in the Diocese of Charleston while campaigning for the presidency. A diocesan policy has stated that “Catholic officials who consistently support abortion on demand are publicly cooperating with evil. By supporting pro-abortion legislation, they participate in manifest grave sin, a condition that excludes them from admission to Holy Communion as long as they persist in the pro-abortion position.


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