Nancy Pelosi should be denied Holy Communion over Abortion Rights Stance: Vatican official

October 11th, 2013

Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke says the California Democrat has ‘obstinately’ separated her religious and political lives, which he calls a ‘grave error.’

 

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Burke cites Canon 915 of the Church’s Code of Canon Law that says individuals “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

His remarks to the Catholic publication came in regards to an incident at a press conference in June, when Pelosi backed away from commenting when asked about the moral difference between the crimes of infamous abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell and infanticide.

She stated, “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.”

Burke decried her decision to compartmentalize her faith from policy decisions.

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Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke, slammed California Democrat Nancy Pelosi for supporting abortion rights and said she should be barred from receiving Holy Communion.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Raymond Cardinal Leo Burke, slammed California Democrat Nancy Pelosi for supporting abortion rights and said she should be barred from receiving Holy Communion.

“To say that these are simply questions of Catholic faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong,” he said.

The abortion issue has been a sticking point for many Catholics in the Democratic party.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is Catholic, said during the 2012 campaign that he accepted the church’s ruling on abortion but only in his personal life.

“I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that – women – they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor. In my view, and in the Supreme Court, I’m not going to interfere with that,” he added, during the vice presidential debate against Rep. Paul Ryan, who is also Catholic.

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Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, declared in 2003 that “a Catholic politician who holds a public, pro-choice position should not be receiving Communion” though he added it is up to an individual to decide whether to partake, not the Church.

Cardinal O’Malley was criticized when he allowed late Sen. Ted Kennedy and former Sen. John Kerry to receive Communion at his Installation Mass in July 2003.

Ted Kennedy’s son, former RI Rep. Patrick Kennedy, was asked by Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence to not receive the sacrament given his pro-abortion stance.

“In light of the Church’s clear teaching, and your consistent actions, therefore, I believe it is inappropriate for you to be receiving Holy Communion and I now ask respectfully that you refrain from doing so,” Tobin wrote then Congressman Kennedy in 2007.

The original version of this story stated that Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence barred Patrick Kennedy from receiving communion. The Diocese of Providence clarified that the bishop did not. Bishop Tobin did write to then Congressman Kennedy in February 2007 to request that he opt not to receive communion given his support of abortion rights. 

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