Speaker Pelosi to meet with Pope Benedict XVI.

It’s always exciting when a notorious heretic meets the Pope. Particularly this Pope, who is quietly gearing the Church up for a long-delayed showdown with American Catholics over abortion:

Pope Benedict to meet Pelosi

In a move likely to stoke more controversy about whether Catholic politicians who support abortion rights are in line with the church, Pope Benedict XVI has granted an audience to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The Catholic News Agency confirmed Monday that Pelosi (D-Calif.) is to meet Wednesday with Pope Benedict XVI, who has said supporters of abortion rights should not receive Communion.

Pelosi, a staunch supporter of abortion rights, is on an official trip to Italy. The news agency said there have been contradictory reports about whether the Pope would receive her. The agency said the Vatican’s press office confirmed today that the audience would take place Wednesday. The Vatican reportedly made clear that the Pope is meeting with her as a head of state, since she is third in line to the presidency.

It’s going to be fascinating to see whether she gets a private audience with Benedict XVI: if she does, she won’t enjoy it in the slightest. Conversations with the head of your religion which prominently feature the terms “heresy,” “denial of the Sacraments,” and “excommunicate” rarely are enjoyable, particularly when you’ve already publicly proven to his satisfaction that your mastery of The Catechism of the Catholic Church is every bit as bad as the stereotypes have it.  If it is strictly public, then it means that Holy Mother Church has decided that FOCA isn’t going to be visited this year… unless it means that the Church has decided that FOCA is going to be visited, and that trying to explain matters to a woman who can degrade the sacrament of the Eucharist down to “Communion is the body of the people of the church coming together” (read this if you’re wondering what the problem with that is) is only going to waste Benedict XVI’s valuable lifespan.  That’s one thing you always have to remember about the Roman Catholic Church: it’s subtle.

Until it isn’t.

Moe Lane

PS: It also hates abortion on an elemental level not really understood by outsiders.  Which, thanks to certain past policies, these days includes a not-trivial percentage of American Catholics…

Crossposted at Moe Lane.