what the archbishop didn't say
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accepted the invitation for a confidential chat with Archbishop George Niederauer, AP reports. The archbishop had said that he wanted to have such a conversation because of Pelosi's outspoken public advocacy for unrestricted legal abortion.
Pelosi said in a letter to Archbishop George Niederauer that she'd "welcome the opportunity for our personal conversation and to go beyond our earlier most cordial exchange about immigration and needs of the poor to Church teaching on other significant matters."
With that letter to the archbishop, Pelosi-- whose political instincts are well tuned, to say the least-- is sending us a message as well. She has had conversations with Archbishop Niederauer in the past. They have spoken about immigration. They have spoken about "needs of the poor" (which, I'm guessing, might involve federal funding for the offices of Catholic Charities). They haven't, yet, got around to the question of slaughtering unborn children.
Whose fault is that?
You might be tempted to think that Pelosi is massaging the truth about her past conversations with the archbishop. She isn't-- according to no less an authority than the archbishop himself. Niederauer specifically mentions talking with the Speaker about immigration because, you see, that was a "hot-button issue" at the time.
Notice that when the archbishop finally said that he did want to talk to Pelosi about abortion, she answered-- positively-- in less than 24 hours. Her response time is a lot more impressive than Niederauer's; it took him 2 weeks to crank out a public reply to the Speaker's gross misrepresentation of Church teaching on a crucial public issue.
So now we're left wondering what might have happened if the Archbishop of San Francisco had summoned Nancy Pelosi for a conversation about abortion a month ago, or 5 years ago, or when she was first elected to Congress in 1987. For that matter, we're left wondering how many other American Catholic politicians are still waiting for their bishops to summon their courage, clear their throats, and raise the issue for the first time.
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