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Pope gently rebukes Pelosi

Catholic World News - February 18, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI met on Wednesday with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and gently chided the American lawmaker for her support of legal abortion. Pelosi, who describes herself as an "ardent Catholic," met briefly with the Pontiff after his regular weekly public audience. The Pope regularly meets with visiting dignitaries after his Wednesday audience, and ordinarily no public statements are issued. But following his meeting with Pelosi, that meeting, the Vatican released this unusual public statement:

His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in co-operation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.

In her own statement released after the meeting, Pelosi gave a very different account of her conversation with the Pope. She mentioned only that she had expressed her appreciation for "the Church's leadership in fighting poverty, hunger, and global warming, as well as the Holy Father's dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel."

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