Nancy Pelosi has always told the world she’s a good, practicing Catholic. Like Joe Biden, and Ted Kennedy before them, they have always believed in “a woman’s right to choose.” Now, I have pretty much stayed away from the whole abortion argument on this blog because I understand that this is a super-charged issue, and I’m a guy. Frankly, it’s easy for me to take either side because I don’t have skin in the game so-to-speak. But, it does become a very thorny issue for Catholics who want to come out as pro-choice, especially those that are from the City By The Bay.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the Archbishop of San Francisco has come out and said that you cannot be a “Catholic in good standing, and be in favor of abortion”. Now, that’s a pretty cut and dry statement. What that basically means is that people like Nancy Pelosi, that profess to be Catholic, and are from the bay area, would be unable to take the Holy Sacrament of Communion. You have to be a “Catholic in good standing” in order for that to happen. That’s why they have confession. You go, you confess your sins, you’re given your penance, and you are forgiven.
Bishop Cordileone has said that no, he wouldn’t give Nancy Pelosi, or any other Catholic who believed in abortion Communion. Here’s what he said in an interview on Fox News with Steve Doocy:
“ I believe in the case of Speaker Pelosi, she understands my abiding by church teaching, and I don’t think I would envision that situation actually happening. But it’s more a matter of avoiding the scandal that can be caused when prominent Catholics in whatever walk of life are advocating something that’s denial of a basic human right, and claiming to be a good Catholic in good conscience. I need to be very clear in the teaching: Catholics do not deny fundamental human rights and remain in good standing in the church.“
Now, full disclosure, I’m not Catholic. And no, I don’t profess to understand the teachings of the Catholic Church as a Catholic would. But what the Bishop says is very telling. He realizes that by allowing Pelosi, or anyone that is backing abortion to receive Communion, they are indeed creating a two-tiered religion. On one hand, you have to look at the sanctity of human life and place that above all else. On the other, you can’t deny humans basic human rights. But as I’ve always believed, and I would think that it’s echoed in the Bishop’s statement, human rights are not granted by humans. They are God given. And they are eternal. They don’t change with the times, they aren’t living, breathing rights. They are rigid and forever.
The problem that Catholics face is, which avenue do you go down. If you believe in denying pro-choice advocates the ability to receive Communion, and follow centuries of Catholic teaching, will you be basically losing half of your members or more? Or, do you allow them the ability to receive Communion and turn your back on a “God given human right”? It would be a difficult decision for some to make, I can imagine.
I frankly follow the logic that all life is precious. All life is a gift from God and as such you cannot create life, and you should not take life. That is not your job, and it’s not my job. But it IS the Bishop’s job to interpret God’s wishes and follow through with them. In that regard, I’m interested to see how this whole issue is going to play out!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!