San Francisco (AFP) – The archbishop of San Francisco told US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that she is barred from receiving communion over her support for abortion rights, the archdiocese said in a letter released Friday.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said he in the letter that he had previously asked Pelosi to “publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights' or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion” — or face the consequence of being denied access to the rite.
“As you have not publicly 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,” the archbishop said.
“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 publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” he added.
Pelosi, a lifelong Catholic from California, said she would work to pass a law to confirm women's continued right to abortions after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that guaranteed access to the procedure nationwide.
Pelosi's office made no immediate comment to AFP after the archbishop's letter was made public.
Communion — the rite in which the faithful ritually consume bread and wine blessed by a priest — is a central rite in the Catholic Church.