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So now will Nancy Pelosi excommunicate Archbishop Cordileone?

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Jun 16, 2014

Nancy Pelosi—who recently accepted an award named after a notorious racist and eugenicist, and bestowed by the America’s largest abortion provider—is now chiding her archbishop for his failure (in her eyes) to show that “every person is a child of God, possessed of the spark of divinity and worthy of respect.”

What we have here is a spectacular reversal of roles. For years Pelosi has been causing scandal for the Church. One hopes that Archbishop Cordileone has been quietly remonstrating with her, urging her to abandon her support for causes that are incompatible with her professed Catholic faith. Since such pleas have been unavailing, and the scandal has continued, it seems clear that the archbishop is obliged, under #915 of the Code of Canon Law, to bar Pelosi from receiving Communion. To date, however, the Archdiocese of San Francisco has made no announcement on that score.

However, Pelosi herself is now remonstrating not-so-quietly with the archbishop, suggesting that it is his stand, in support of marriage, that causes offense. If he fails to obey her directive, what’s her next step?

Catholic bishops in the US have been loath to take public disciplinary action against politicians. Let the record show that the politicians have no such reluctance to take disciplinary action against their bishops.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: skall391825 - Jun. 18, 2014 4:21 AM ET USA

    The Church in America made its bed, and has demonstrated time and time again that no change should be expected by the laity. So what kind of new Evangelization are we supposed to be praying for exactly? More statement on gun control, illegal emigration and "immoral" Republican budgets?

  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Jun. 18, 2014 12:38 AM ET USA

    The Archbishop should have banned her receipt of communion long ago. Though there is a belief that someone who is unprepared to receive communion does not benefit from it. It may go as far as to compound the sin(s).

  • Posted by: PrimoLeoncefalo6330 - Jun. 17, 2014 6:22 PM ET USA

    In this case moral trumps legal. The archbishop is morally bound to refuse communion to Pelosi. What response this will receive from the house minority leader is irrelevant. She is obligated to observe the laws of the church to be considered a faithful member, and if she cannot, she should reject her Catholic faith. Again, the church caves to political pressure, when it would not hesitate to refuse in the case of an 'ordinary' person. Pelosi's excommunication would clear the air on this subject

  • Posted by: Defender - Jun. 17, 2014 11:58 AM ET USA

    "Catholic bishops in the US have been loath to take public disciplinary action against politicians." And I thought Canon 915 was mandatory, even for Cardinal Wuerl (who would be Pelosi's bishop where she "works"). There are so many politicians who ignore and just plain thumb their noses at the Church, all the while proclaiming that they know Catholicism best. When will this lunacy end? I doubt that the pre-VII bishops would have put up with all this, especially for this long.

  • Posted by: Lahrye - Jun. 17, 2014 10:19 AM ET USA

    After reading this article about Nancy Pelosi and her beliefs against Catholic teaching today. How am I to handle 'correcting' her misunderstanding of basic Catholic Beliefs since Vatican II? As a Catholic believer and practitioner what next?