Saturday, May 21, 2022

Will Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone prohibit every Catholic who dissents from Catholic Church teaching on abortion from receiving Communion in San Francisco, or just prominent politicians like Nancy Pelosi? by Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a weekly press conference. 
Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone's move to bar Nancy Pelosi from receiving Eucharist in San Francisco is a clear abuse of hierarchical power that weaponizes Eucharist, violates primacy of conscience and departs from Jesus' example of inclusivity in the Gospels. Everyone was always welcome at the table where Jesus sat.

 The Catholic Church states that everyone must follow his/her conscience in making moral decisions even when their decision contradicts magisterium teaching.

According to surveys, the majority of Catholics believe that abortion should be legal in most cases and that Catholics should follow their consciences on moral issues such as abortion and contraception.

Speaker Pelosi has an obligation to  represent people of all faiths and no faith in her district. Since there is a diversity of beliefs on abortion, a legislator's duty is to consider all views and make the best decision possible for the good of all their constituents.  

Nancy Pelosi is lifelong Catholic whose faith has shaped her values and worldview. Being denied communion will be difficult for her because she attends Mass on a regular basis. 

I wonder if she knows that there are inclusive women priests-led communities all over California -including  the San Francisco Bay Area where she would be welcome to receive Communion.  

Twenty years ago on June 29, 2002, an anonymous male Roman Catholic bishop ordained seven women priests on the Danube River in Passau, Germany.  

Now there are nearly 300 hundred courageous women in 13 countries and 34 states who have been ordained deacons, priests and bishops to serve inclusive Catholic communities where all are invited to celebrate Eucharist and to follow their consciences.

The question now is will Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone prohibit every Catholic, who dissents from Catholic Church teaching on abortion, from receiving Communion in San Francisco, or just prominent politicians like Nancy Pelosi? 

Either way, this punitive ban weaponizing Communion should be challenged by faithful Catholics everywhere, including Pope Francis.

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

Womanbishop Suzanne Avison Thiel of Roman Catholic Womenpriests Western Region Speaks out Regarding Nancy Pelosi Being Denied Holy Communion by

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.

Cordileone's reference to Pelosi's pro-choice position is nothing more than an old, medieval, punitive and bigoty chastisement--the political weapon of denying Communion is never acceptable and simply put is not what Jesus taught. When will the male Catholic clergy wake up and recognize the majority of Catholic women and their rights over their own bodies? We in the Roman Catholic Women Priest movement welcome all to our Communion tables and we invite Pelosi to visit us at one of our three worshiping communities in the San Francisco Bay area where we will be glad to offer her Communion.

"The Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco has ordered priests in the archdiocese to deny House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the sacrament of communion because of the California Democrat’s support for abortion rights.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s move to bar Pelosi from receiving the Eucharist in churches in her home district comes as the Supreme Court is expected within weeks to overturn the constitutional right to abortion embodied in the 49-year-old court decision Roe v. Wade.

The Roman Catholic Church opposes abortion, considering it a “grave sin.”

“After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” Cordileone wrote in a tweet.

Most Catholic bishops have been loathe to deny communion to politicians who support abortion rights.

Cordileone’s order applies only to priests in his diocese, not to priests elsewhere. Pelosi could still receive communion in a church outside San Francisco. Or in womenpriests-led inclusive Catholic communities in the Bay area! (bmm comment)

Cordileone notified Pelosi on Thursday that because she supports “legal abortion she is not to present herself for Communion, and that should she do so, she is not to be admitted,” the Catholic News Agency reported.

In a letter to priests in the archdiocese Friday, Cordileone wrote, “There are those who speak of such actions as I am taking as ‘weaponizing’ the Eucharist.”

“However, this is simply application of Church teaching.  One would have to demonstrate that a person’s actions in following Church teaching is explicitly for a political purpose in order to justify the accusation of ‘weaponizing’ the Eucharist,” Cordileone wrote.

“I have been very clear all along, in both my words and my actions, that my motive is pastoral, not political,” he added.

Pelosi said last month that the controversy over her support for abortion rights “really gets me burned up in case you didn’t notice, because again I’m very Catholic, devout, practicing, all of that. They would like to throw me out. But I’m not going because I don’t want to make their day."

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