Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore J. Cordileone, whose diocese encompasses House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) district, released a pastoral letter Saturday condemning Catholic politicians who support what he described as the “moral evil” of abortion.
In an extensive document entitled “A Pastoral Letter on the Human Dignity of the Unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholics in Public Life,” Cordileone laid out a case against abortion, but devoted a particular section to rebuking self-described Catholic political leaders that openly support abortion.
“Your Catholic ideals inspire you in your work to help those who experience discrimination, violence, and injustice, and you deserve the gratitude of your fellow Catholics and our nation for this service. But we cannot empower the weak by crushing the weakest,” Cordileone wrote in part.
“If you find that you are unwilling or unable to abandon your advocacy for abortion, you should not come forward to receive Holy Communion. To publicly affirm the Catholic faith while at the same time publicly rejecting one of its most fundamental teachings is simply dishonest,” he wrote.
“God has entrusted you with a prestigious position in society. You have the power to affect societal practices and attitudes. Always remember that you will one day have to render an account to God for your stewardship of this trust,” he added.
“And please stop pretending that advocating for or practicing a grave moral evil — one that snuffs out an innocent human life, one that denies a fundamental human right — is somehow compatible with the Catholic faith. It is not,” he concluded.
Cordileone appealed to 1 Corinthians 11:27–29 for his admonition, which says:
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.
Pelosi, President Joe Biden, and other Catholic politicians face a potential rebuke from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), who will decide in June if they should tighten their stance on politicians who openly support the practice of abortion and demand they refrain from the Eucharist.
Cordileone recently expressed support for USCCB’s proposed statement, telling the AP “there’s a growing sense of urgency” surrounding the issue. “Abortion is not just one among many important issues. … It’s a direct attack on human life.”
“They need to understand the scandal that is caused when they say they are faithfully Catholic and yet oppose the church on such a basic concept,” he said.
As The Daily Wire reported:
During their next annual meeting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine will be drafting a document that will clarify their position regarding the longstanding question of how to handle Catholic politicians in open defiance of Church teaching on abortion, according to The Associated Press.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, who is chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has publicly and repeatedly rebuked Biden for supporting abortion, going so far as to say the president “should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic.”
“Because President Biden is Catholic, it presents a unique problem for us,” Naumann told the AP. “It can create confusion. … How can he say he’s a devout Catholic and he’s doing these things that are contrary to the church’s teaching?”
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