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Published: October 4, 2013 1:51 am to Opinion Column

Nancy Pelosi and Catholic consistency

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been written about in Live Action News quite a fewNancy_Pelosi_113th_Congress_2013 times. When asked about the difference between what Gosnell did and abortions taking place moments before birth, Pelosi refused to answer the question and instead referred to abortion as “sacred ground.”

Also, notice how the question, asked by The Weekly Standard, does not mention Catholicism or politics. Pelosi, however, does:

Asked what the moral difference is between what Dr. Kermit Gosnell did to babies born alive and aborting those same infants moments before birth, Pelosi refused to answer.

“As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this,” Pelosi said. “I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”

Rep. Pelosi claims to be “a practicing and respectful Catholic.” By mentioning her faith when the question does not, the congresswoman not only seriously confuses the teachings of her Catholic faith, but makes it look as if she has something to justify. Either that, or she’s chosen her politics over her faith. It is curious, then, that Pelosi mentions that she “[doesn't] think it should have anything to do with politics,” when she herself advocates for abortion from a position of political power.

When Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life challenged Nancy Pelosi to drop either her Catholic faith or her pro-abortion stance, she completely dismissed him.

One cannot claim to espouse Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior while believing that he would support abortion. I have written about this before, as well as mentioned Catholicism and abortion. Of all the Christian denominations, the Catholic Church takes perhaps the most consistent pro-life stance.

As a practicing Catholic myself, I cannot help but wonder sometimes: where is this consistency?

You may have heard Cardinal Burke, who is on the high court of the Vatican, call for Nancy Pelosi not to receive Communion. This is good news, but there’s more to it than that. This call came during an interview; it was not an actual judicial act. It’s encouraging to see the matter being mentioned, but how it will really be dealt with remains to be seen.

The National Catholic Register is a helpful source in explaining what is really going on lest there be any confusion. The article does conclude on an encouraging note:

8) Many Catholics are outraged by the way politicians like Ms. Pelosi flout Catholic teaching on life issues such as abortion. Did the interview touch on this matter?

Yes. The following exchange occurred:

Q. Many faithful Catholics are troubled when high-profile political figures with unconcealed antilife, anti-family positions are honored in such ways as receiving invitations to speak at Catholic university commencement ceremonies and given honorary degrees or memorialized at public Catholic funeral Masses without having renounced their immoral positions. Faithful Catholics, at the same time, are taught they have committed a serious sin if they vote for these same candidates. How are those who are seriously trying to live out their faith to reconcile this apparent contradiction?

A. You cannot reconcile it — it is a contradiction, it is wrong, it is a scandal, and it must stop! We live in a culture with a false sense of dialogue — which has also crept into the Church — where we pretend to dialogue about open and egregious violations of the moral law. Can we believe it is permissible to recognize publicly people who support open and egregious violations, and then act surprised if someone is scandalized by it? For Catholic institutions or individuals to give recognition to such persons, to honor them in any way, is a source of grave scandal for which they are responsible. In a certain way, they contribute to the sinfulness of the individuals involved. There is no way to reconcile it; it simply is wrong.

While there are those in position of authority such as Cardinal Burke, there are also those such as Cardinal Wuerl, who says he will not deny Communion to Nancy Pelosi. While the cardinal is in a position of power and authority himself, and does make some good points, some confusion and a lack of consistency linger.

Make no mistake: the Catholic Church is pro-life. Cardinal Burke makes some rousing comments in the excerpt provided above. If this contradiction truly is irreconcilable, then we need consistent spiritual discipline on the matter. At least this Catholic is hoping for a better, more consistent answer as to what the Church really plans to do to keep up with its unwavering dedication to life.

About Rebecca Downs

Rebecca Downs graduated from Fordham University in August 2012, where she was a member of the Respect for Life club and College Republicans. After writing for Live Action News since March 2012, she is thrilled to be involved at the Live Action office. She has also written for IRD's Juicy Ecumenism, Secular Pro-Life Perspective's and C-FAM. She first became interested in the Live Action campaign at the March for Life in 2010.
View all posts by Rebecca Downs

  • Mamabear

    I wish the Catholic Church well in dealing with erring politicians. I shall not judge because my own denomination has not managed to rid itself of Jimmy Carter, although he keeps threatening us with leaving and most of us sincerely wish he would make good on his threats and leave.

    • PrincessJasmine4

      The Church is weak
      It’s been weakened since the horrors of Vatican 2
      They’ve produced no true leaders since before John XXIII (walking talking disaster)
      One of the reasons I left

      • Marauder

        What were “the horrors of Vatican 2″?

        • PrincessJasmine4

          Meh.. Not something I get into anymore since it’s no longer my concern
          But the main problem was changing the Mass .

          Ah well..I don’t really care anymore

          • steve

            sounds like you still care….we wish you would

        • Nancy Janzen

          She is upset about the original English translation and so doesn’t know that was fixed last year. Most of the other stuff that upset her were a bunch of flower children that tried to take over the Church. Instead of fighting for the Church like Mother Angelica and EWTN did she just gave it to them. I still fight some of them on facebook but we have won.

          • PrincessJasmine4

            Nancy, I never claimed to better than anyone else, nor am I upset with the “original English translation”

            I just don’t subscribe to religion anymore.

            Maybe it’s my degree in anthropology, maybe it isn’t

            I held to faith for a long time after I graduated.

            I don’t claim to know all the answers

            But, let’s just be clear on some things.

            My entire junior year in high school was spent dissecting the errors and “heresies” of V2

            ie: Lumen Gentium.Unitatis Redintegratio, Dignitatis Humanae (which I mostly agree with now, heh),
            et al that blatantly contradicts just about everything former popes have said.

            V2 isn’t even binding, yet Catholics are made to adhere to it.
            The Tridentine Mass was banned.
            BANNED!!
            How could that have even happened??

            The Nous Ordo Missae (written by a free mason who was later excommunicated btw) is a circus and any Church that can “canonize” the guy who tried to destroy itself, (j23) is in self destructive mode.

            I’m done fighting for religion. I fought for a very long time.

            I respect your views though.
            We have a common cause here, let’s unite under it.

      • Nancy Janzen

        I guess you are reacting to the “spirit of Vatican II” But you are no better than anyone else since from what you say I know you didn’t read the 16 documents including the 3 dogmatic constitutions of Vatican II. So in truth you ran away instead of fighting for your faith. Martyr spirit sadly missing among people like you.

      • Cristina

        if someone hurt you, please please forgive us. We are only human. The Church will always be waiting for you to come home.

        • PrincessJasmine4

          You are very kind. thank you.

    • Nancy Janzen

      Well we have Raymond Cardinal Burke who can say bad girl no communion for you. But we can’t keep her from walking into the church Must let her hear God’s word where hopefully it will be the right day in the lectionary to get every passage from both the old and the new testament on abortion and murder

  • Marauder

    I don’t know why Nancy Pelosi bothers being Catholic, since she’s really only nominally Catholic as far as I can tell and seems like a better fit with the Episcopalians. I don’t know if she thinks she can change the Catholic Church or if calling herself Catholic has some political benefit for her or if it’s a cultural thing or what.

    • Mary Lee

      I wonder this too. I think she invokes the Church to lend herself some sort of credibility, maybe? Like, “I’m a Catholic, so I know, but I think abortion is a right,” ….it’s quite manipulative. She really needs to stop doing this. She is not a respectful Catholic–she is not Catholic at all.

  • Nancy Janzen

    I can guarantee that Pelosi could not be a respectful and practicing Catholic and support or promote abortion. If she was a respectful practicing Catholic she would have done as Pope Benedict asked 1 year ago and read the Catechism CCC 2270- 2275 and 2319; and 2322 -2323 all cover abortion in one manner or another basically saying no, can’t do it, it’s a sin, etc.

  • Mike, New Jersey

    I heard a story recently about an Australian priest who was excommunicated for promoting gay rights to his congregation. His congregation is the sum total of one parish. His actions made him excommunicate and his bishop declared him so. That’s the way it should be. No confusion there.
    Nancy Pelosi’s “congregation” is the entire USA and she get airplay when she goes contrary to the teachings of the Church. To tell her not to present herself for Communion is laughable. Her actions and statements are excommunicate with the Church and her influence is both national in the USA and international. Why does she get a pass on a formal writ of excommunication. Same story with other “Catholic” public figures including Joe Biden, Kathleen Sibelius, Mario Cuomo and also Melinda Gates who, I understand, is a large financial contributor to Planned Parenthood.
    Where are our shepherds? What are our bishops doing? Why do these phonies get a pass. Give us some leadership and direction. Let us know clearly what is right and wrong. The only leadership and direction is from the Pelosi types and it’s all in the wrong direction and geared toward sowing confusion. Pelosi type “Catholics” can rely on “confused Catholics” for support.
    End the confusion. Our bishops need to stand up and be counted.