There’s nothing newsworthy when it comes to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) advocating a woman’s right to abortion. After all, she earned a 100% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and last June, when asked by a reporter if there is a moral difference between aborting a baby at 26 weeks and what Dr. Kermit Gosnell did in Philadelphia in delivering babies alive at 23 weeks and then severing their spinal cords to kill them, she said:
As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics, and that’s where you’re taking it and I’m not going there.
Ms. Pelosi’s statement didn’t escape the scrutiny of Cardinal Raymond Burke, the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature, the highest ecclesiastical court in the Catholic Church, apart from Pope Francis.
Cardinal Burke’s analysis of Ms. Pelosi’s public statements concerning abortion?
According to a July 2013 interview in The Wanderer, Ms. Pelosi has violated Canon 915 which applies to “a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin–cooperating with the crime of procured abortion–and still professes to be a devout Catholic.” In the Cardinal’s view, Ms. Pelosi has divorced her faith from her public life. Therefore, she is not serving her brothers and sisters in the way that she must–in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family.
Speaking truth to power, Cardinal Burke minced no words:
What Congresswoman Pelosi is speaking of is not particular confessional beliefs or practices of the Catholic Church. It belongs to the natural moral law which is written on every human heart and which the Catholic Church obviously also teaches: that natural moral law which is so wonderfully illumined for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ by His saving teaching, but most of all by His Passion and death.
To say that these are simply questions of Catholic faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong. I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life.
For this violation of Canon 915, Cardinal Burke asserted that Ms. Pelosi must be denied Communion.
What makes the Cardinal’s judgment newsworthy are two, more recent events: 1) Pope Francis reappointed Cardinal Burke to his position last week and 2) Pope Francis said in an interview last week that the Church must be careful not to alienate sinners but, instead, become more welcoming and inclusive of them.
Drawing a line in the sand by denying Ms. Pelosi communion seems to put Cardinal Burke’s jurisprudence at odds with Pope Francis’ call for greater pastoral sensitivity.
To read the Wanderer article, click on the following link: