Abortion rights row: US Archbishop Bans Pelosi from Communion

The debate over abortion rights
US Archbishop Bans Pelosi from Communion

Nancy Pelosi is campaigning for a woman’s right to have an abortion. At the same time, the speaker of the US House of Representatives is a devout Catholic. According to Archbishop Cordelion, they do not meet together. So Pelosi is excluded from an important secret.

The Archbishop of San Francisco has banned Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi from receiving the Eucharist in the dispute over abortion rights in the United States. In a letter to the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Archbishop Salvatore Cordelion justified the exclusion by her support of the right to abortion. This is against Christian teaching.


Archbishop Salvatore Cordelion (left) allegedly “had no other choice”.

(Photo: Photo Alliance / Associated Press)

Cordelion wrote: “The Catholic legislator who supports abortion despite knowing what the Church teaches is clearly committing a grave sin.” Canon law states that such a person should not be admitted to Holy Communion. The 82-year-old Cordelion therefore forbids a practicing Catholic from taking Communion in his diocese. If Pelosi appears anyway, the priest should not allow her to participate.

The archbishop went on to say that because Pelosi, contrary to his requests, has not publicly distanced herself from her support for abortion rights and is using her Catholic faith to justify her position, he has “no choice” but to issue a ban. However, she is allowed to participate in Communion again if she publicly changes her position and confesses and “has obtained absolution from this grave sin”.

Abortion rights at risk

Like most politicians in President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, Pelosi, and her constituency in San Francisco, supports a woman’s right to abortion. That right is currently in jeopardy in the USA: In the coming weeks, the nation’s Supreme Court could overturn the landmark 50-year-old “Roe v. Wade” decision, which established a constitutional right to abortion in 1973.

If the conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturns the landmark ruling, as a leaked draft ruling proposed in early May, states would be free to ban abortion or radically restrict access to abortions. About half of the states are likely to go this route. There is no federal law about this.

The Pelosi-led House of Representatives has already voted in favor of a bill that would cast “Roe v. Wade” meaning into law. In the Senate, where Democrats have only a slim majority, attempts to pass him have repeatedly failed, most recently in the middle of last week.


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