The conflict between grotesquely dishonest Democrat politicians who claim to be “devout Catholics” to win what remains of the ethnic Catholic vote and the teachings of the Catholic Church (Roman, Orthodox, and all other permutations) may be coming to a head.
One of the two major offenders on the national scene is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The other is Joe Biden, but no one believes Joe Biden knows what he’s saying, so it doesn’t matter. Pelosi makes much of her family’s Roman Catholic faith intertwined with its Italian heritage. Pelosi differs from the addled Joe Biden in that she uses her “devout” or “practicing” Catholic label to defend abortion and claim that abortion is a “matter of conscience” for Catholics.
After a decade of reaching out to Pelosi to get her to either abide by Church teaching on abortion or to dial back her yodeling about being a “devout” Catholic, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone had had enough. On Friday, he informed Pelosi that because of her open rebellion against the law of the Church that she would no longer be permitted to receive the Eucharist, also known as Communion. This disciplinary action was not about abortion; it is about what we Catholics call scandal. Scandal occurs when you encourage another to commit a mortal sin by your words or actions. In Pelosi’s case, her fluffing for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry while proclaiming to be a “devout” Catholic could cause a person to believe that getting an abortion or encouraging another to get an abortion was permissible. If you are interested in an exhaustive treatment of the subject, follow this link.
Tuesday, Pelosi talked to Morning Joe to explain her position. This is how Joe “what is a dead intern doing in my office” Scarborough set it up.
We haven’t talked about your faith publicly. We certainly have in a lot of private conversations because it means so much to you. The last time is when you were talking about your father, and I said, ‘I bet you wish your father were here to see you.’ And you said, ‘He is here. He is here. He is with me.’ I know exactly – my dad is watching, and he is in heaven.
I’m just curious, what do you say to Catholics who see what’s happening to you in San Francisco and wonders why you have an archbishop taking a step like this?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, good morning, Joe. Thank you. Yes, we do go back a long way, when you were a new, young Member of Congress.
The – what’s so sad about it – and as you were speaking, I’m thinking of some of the discussions I’ve had with other Members of Congress over time. And what is important for women to know and families to know, is that this is not just about terminating a pregnancy. So these same people are against contraception, family planning, in vitro fertilization — it’s a blanket thing. And they use abortion as the front man for it while they try to undo so much. That’s what they tried to do in the Affordable Care Act, which didn’t have anything about terminating a pregnancy.
Contraception and in vitro fertilization are both prohibited by the Catholic Church. I’m unaware of anyone against “family planning” per se, but the methods used to achieve that goal are the subject of dispute.
So let’s just say that, you know, I wonder about death penalty, which I’m opposed to. So is the Church, but they take no action against people who may not share their view. Thank you for referencing the Gospel of Matthew, which is sort of the agenda of the Church that is rejected by many who side with them on terminating a pregnancy. So we just have to be prayerful. We have to be respectful. I come from a largely pro-life, Italian-American, Catholic family, so I respect people’s views about that. But I don’t respect us foisting it onto others.
Equating the death penalty to abortion is a favorite tactic of pro-aborts attacking the Catholic stance on abortion. This falls short from several standpoints. First and foremost, equating the life of a convicted murderer to that of an unborn child is both ridiculous and obscene. While the Catholic Church has come to oppose the death penalty, it is forbidden to attach ecclesiastical penalties to supporting it. Why? Because the dogma that gives the Magesterium, that is, the teaching authority of the Church, its power is that, by definition, it is inerrant and unchanging. From the earliest days of the Church, the death penalty, when imposed by properly instituted civil authority, has been deemed lawful. Luke, writing in Acts of the Apostles and Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, endorse the right of civil authorities to impose the death penalty. In the very first written catechism of the Catholic Church, the Catechism of the Council of Trent (1566), the death penalty is explicitly endorsed.
Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment, which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.
As recently as 1952, Pope Pius wrote, “Even in the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life.”
One has to interpret the opposition to the death penalty through the lens of Scripture and the Magisterium. It is something we should not do, but something is not forbidden because any development of doctrine must be in continuity with what preceded it.
Compare and contrast this with the perpetual prohibition on abortion. The 1566 Catechism of the Council of Trent reads, “It was also for this reason that God instituted marriage from the beginning; and therefore married persons who, to prevent conception or procure abortion, have recourse to medicine, are guilty of a most heinous crime–nothing less than wicked conspiracy to commit murder.”
The current catechism is more adamant. “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
The last thing that Archbishop Cordileone is doing is “foisting” his beliefs upon anyone. Adhering to the beliefs of the Church is central to being Catholic. When someone wishes to join the Church, they must make this Profession of Faith: “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.” Pelosi’s denial of that teaching reveals that she is not acting according to her conscience; she has put her politics higher than her alleged faith. Archbishop Cordileone properly uses his teaching authority as a bishop to correct the scandalous and gravely sinful conduct of a prominent member of his flock. Her unwillingness to listen speaks much more to her separation from Christianity than any abuse of power by her bishop.
Finally, the quote from Matthew she is referring to is from Matthew 25. Scarborough references this shortly before introducing her.
35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:
36 Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.
37 Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee?
39 Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee?
40 And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.
I don’t see “And when I was helpless in the womb, you ripped me limb from limb” in there, but I may not be using the newest translation.
Now, our archbishop has been vehemently against LGBTQ rights, too. In fact, he led the way in some of the initiatives on – an initiative on the ballot in California. So this decision, taking us to privacy and precedent, is very dangerous in the lives of so many of the American people. And again, not consistent with the Gospel of Matthew.
Archbishop Cordileone was heavily involved in the successful California ballot initiative to ban homosexual marriage. His support for this hideous assault on marriage and Judeo-Christian tradition is to be applauded.
Mika Brzezinski. I’m sorry your religion has been brought into this. Let’s turn to the political side of this. I’m concerned how we preserve all of our rights as women, given the fact that this leaked draft opinion looks to overturn Roe. The Senate passed a piece of – or, the Senate voted on a piece of legislation that looked to expand abortion rights. Was that a productive gesture? What do you think Democrats should do toward the midterms to really campaign clearly on this issue?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I don’t think they expanded abortion rights. What they did was to enshrine Roe v. Wade into the law. Enshrine Roe v. Wade into the law. And that was – that’s what we’ve done in the House. We did it right after the horrible decision in Texas, that vigilantes follow women around and all that. So that’s all – that’s what that does. And it was unfortunate that some of the Republicans who claim to be pro-choice – pro-the-decision. We call it a decision as a woman, as a family, with her doctor, her family – and make those decisions.
But no, I think that it was really important to make that vote. I think it was most unfortunate that those who profess to be supportive of a woman’s decision in this regard found that to be too much, because that was Roe v. Wade, that’s the enshrinement of Roe v. Wade.
So in terms of, to your larger question, women – I think, you know, you’ve heard me say before: President Lincoln said, ‘Public sentiment is everything. With it, you can accomplish almost anything. Without it, practically nothing.’ But for public sentiment to weigh in, people have to know. So women have to know how pervasive this is. I mean, as a Catholic, I try to talk to some of my colleagues – Republican colleagues, some years ago into supporting what the Catholic Church was asking us to do for global family planning – natural family planning, which our law allows to happen. And they said, ‘We’re not for family planning domestically or globally. We’re against it.’ Now, that was family planning. That wasn’t anything beyond that.
I can find no reference anywhere to the Democrats proposing a bill that supported Natural Family Planning, which is encouraged by the Catholic Church. I can imagine an attempt to gain Republican support for abortion-centric “family planning” by rolling in NFP and being laughed at. If anyone can find evidence of the bill Pelosi was referring to, let me know.
So understand what is at risk here. And again, I think it is very insulting to women to have their ability to make their own decision hampered by politics. This should never have been politicized. It should never have been politicized. Joe described it perfectly with the transition from where we were to where we are now. And you know what, it is also a cover for a lot of other things that the far right wants to accomplish.
Mika Brzezinski. That’s what I was – what will it mean, if and when it is overturned? And is this an issue that could galvanize voters on both sides of the aisle?
Speaker Pelosi. Yes, I think so. Here’s – we always are running on kitchen table issues.
Mika Brzezinski. Right, and there’s a lot of them now.
Speaker Pelosi. Right. And how do people pay for food, for rent, for education, for prescription drugs and all of that? I hope we can talk about that. All of us – but we also know that our democracy is at stake, what they’re doing to voter suppression – in voter suppressing and also in the nullification of elections. But that doesn’t really hit home as much as a kitchen table issue – the kitchen table issues do. And a woman’s decision is a kitchen table issue.
Mika Brzezinski. It sure is.
Speaker Pelosi. So they have now taken freedom, which is on the ballot, home. That will – they tell me that in Georgia, the women are really –
Mika Brzezinski. They’re galvanizing?
Speaker Pelosi. Galvanized is the word I was looking – I thought, but it is even more than that.
Nancy Pelosi’s problem is that she’s never been more than a “smells and bells” Catholic or a “submarine” Catholic (you know, they surface at Christmas and Easter). Her Catholicism is at most a cultural artifact and, at its worst, a grift. Her support of abortion and the blasphemy that is the LGBTQ-whatever-whatever agenda shows that she sees religion as a political shield from criticism. After all these years, she has been called out on her deceit, and she is dumbfounded.