House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is always quick to tout her claimed devotion to her Catholic faith when it is politically convenient. She is also a dependable voice in Washington, D.C., supporting promotion and taxpayer funding of abortions by the federal government. While her loyal San Francisco voters may not care about her hypocrisy, the archbishop of her home church is not sitting by quietly.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has spoken out before about Catholic public officials who support pro-choice positions. In May, he wrote: “Prominent figures in society help to shape the mores of that society, and in our culture, their advocacy of abortion definitely leads others to do evil. This must be stated with clarity: anyone who actively works to promote abortion shares some of the guilt for the abortions performed because of their actions.”
The archbishop was clear at that time about his belief on what should be done about church members who support government involvement in abortion. “Because we are dealing with public figures and public examples of cooperation in moral evil, this correction can also take the public form of exclusion from the reception of Holy Communion,” he wrote.
Pelosi took her years of public support for abortion to a new level on July 22, when she defended the circulation of a spending bill approved by the House Appropriations Committee. The proposed legislation purposefully excludes the Hyde Amendment, a bipartisan addition to all federal spending bills since 1976 that prohibits taxpayer funding of most abortions.
Pelosi brazenly cited her Catholic faith while defending the removal of the Hyde Amendment. The Speaker said, “it’s not up to me to dictate that that’s what other people should do, and funding of abortion in Medicaid is an issue of fairness and justice for poorer women in our country.”
Later in the day following Pelosi’s announcement, Archbishop Cordileone published a statement on his website questioning Pelosi’s commitment to the faith.
“Let me repeat: no one can claim to be a devout Catholic and condone the killing of innocent human life, let alone have the government pay for it. The right to life is a fundamental, the most fundamental human right, and Catholics do not oppose fundamental human rights. To use the smokescreen of abortion as an issue of health and fairness to poor women is the epitome of hypocrisy: what about the health of the baby being killed? What about giving poor women real choices so they are supported in choosing life? This would give them fairness and equality to women of means who can afford to bring a child into the world. It is people of faith who run pro-life crisis pregnancy clinics, and they are the only ones who provide poor women life-giving alternatives to having their babies killed in their wombs.”
Cordileone joins the plurality position of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Conference voted last month in favor of considering the withholding of communion from pro-abortion Catholic politicians.