David Closson

No Communion for Thee: Nancy Pelosi, Abortion, and Pastoral Authority

In an explosive announcement last week, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone declared that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may no longer receive the sacrament of the Eucharist because of her outspoken support for abortion. The surprising news was released in a series of letters published by Cordileone, the Archbishop of San Francisco. The decision amounts to a rare public rebuke of one of the nation’s most recognized politicians who identifies as Catholic and raises questions about pastoral authority, discipleship, and spiritual responsibility.
In a letter to Pelosi published on Friday, Cordileone, who oversees Pelosi’s home diocese, explained his rationale to the Catholic lawmaker. Citing the Second Vatican Council and Pope Francis, Cordileone explained, “A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.’” According to the archbishop, Pelosi’s “extreme position” on abortion combined with her regular public comments identifying herself as Catholic necessitated Cordileone take pastoral action.
Although there is precedent for Catholic bishops not admitting politicians to communion over abortion (Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has been unable to receive the Eucharist in his home diocese for 17 years), it is rare. Moreover, Pelosi’s role as Speaker of the House (and third in line for the presidency), makes the archbishop’s decision particularly noteworthy. Thus, even for non-Catholics like myself, the story deserves attention.
First, Archbishop Cordileone underscored in his letter the “scandal” caused by Pelosi’s public support for abortion. In Roman Catholicism, a “scandal” refers to behavior that leads others to do evil. Cordileone used the word “scandal” four times to refer to Pelosi’s abortion advocacy, noting that the Speaker’s support for abortion has not only endangered her own soul but has caused harmful confusion among practicing Catholics and other Catholic politicians about the church’s teaching on abortion.
Specifically, the archbishop noted Pelosi’s regular practice of referring to her Catholic faith in the context of championing abortion. For example, as recently as May 4, Pelosi referred to herself as a “devout Catholic” and described opposition to abortion as “appalling.” Cordileone mentioned Pelosi’s recent efforts to codify Roe v. Wade into federal law after Texas passed a heart-beat bill in September. Under Pelosi’s leadership, the House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act in September, legislation that if enacted into law would weaken conscience protections for medical professionals, jeopardize prohibitions on taxpayer funding for abortion, enshrine late-term abortion into law, strike down many pro-life laws passed in the states, and equate the death of unborn children with routine medical procedures.
Second, Archbishop Cordileone noted Pelosi’s “resistance to pastoral counsel.” In letters published on Friday to the Catholic community and fellow priests serving in the archdiocese, Cordileone explained that the Speaker’s “resistance to pastoral counsel has gone on for too long.” He noted that he has prayed and searched his conscience for years about how to respond pastorally to Pelosi’s abortion stance and has attempted—without success—to speak with her privately on at least six occasions within the previous year.
Read More

Progressives Seem Willing to Erase Women. Are We Going to Let Them?

Although the assertion that women’s rights should be protected would have been uncontroversial only a few years ago, it is now seen as divisive and hateful even to suggest that biological males are robbing biological females of opportunities and awards. Incredibly, many progressives are in favor of accelerating this trend. But unless people are comfortable with Lia Thomas winning national championships meant for women and Rachel Levine being heralded as a pioneer for women, Americans of every background and political persuasion must be willing to stand up to gender identity ideology.

According to the NCAA, Lia Thomas is a national champion. After touching the wall first at the conclusion of the 500-yard freestyle, Thomas’s win was heralded by ESPN, The New York Times, and CNN as historic. And it’s true. Thomas’ championship-clinching swim at last week’s NCAA women’s national championship meet capped off a record-breaking season in which the University of Pennsylvania swimmer set multiple pool, school, and league records.
Of course, as most people know by now, this success has been overshadowed by the fact that Thomas (born William Thomas) is a biological male who identifies as a woman. And although Thomas’ victories have attracted national attention, few mainstream outlets or publications seem willing to discuss the danger the swimmer’s success poses to women’s sports or how this story fits within the broader trend of undermining women’s rights under the guise of LGBT rights. In short, the muted response to Thomas’ season is another reminder that many progressives are willing to sacrifice women’s rights if it means staying in the good graces of those leading the transgender revolution.
Although women’s collegiate swimming is not usually front-page news, Thomas’s story has rightfully received a fair amount of coverage over the past few weeks. Thomas, who swam for three seasons on the men’s varsity team before switching to the women’s team this season, is now recognized as one of the nation’s most accomplished woman swimmers. And in terms of swimming times and statistics, Thomas’ season really has been one for the record books.
The University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team participated in eight meets this season. In each of these meets, Thomas won at least one race and repeatedly won multiple races. At the Zippy Invitational, Thomas competed against swimmers from ten schools and won the 200, 500, and 1650-yard races. Thomas’ times of 4:34:06 (500-yard) and 15:59:71 (1650-yard) were pool, meet, and program records. At the Ivy League Championships, Thomas won the 100-yard free (a meet, pool, and program record), 200 free (a meet and pool record), and 500 free (a pool record).
In summary, in one season on the women’s team, Thomas won 19 events, three league titles, one national championship (500-yard freestyle), set multiple records, and finished the season as the top-ranked swimmer for Division I Mid-Major schools, as well as the highest-rated Ivy League and University of Pennsylvania women’s swimmer.
Transgender Tide
There are other stories besides Thomas’s collegiate swimming career that show how many progressives are willing to sacrifice opportunities and rights for women on the altar of political correctness For example, New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was allowed to compete in women’s weightlifting at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, depriving a biological woman of a chance to represent her country.
Read More

Scroll to top