Should the Pope deny communion to Pelosi for being pro-choice?

posted at 3:08 pm on February 17, 2009 by Allahpundit

Some Catholics say yes, most — I assume — would say no. It’s a pointless debate since it’ll never happen, but intriguing insofar as the weight of authority does seem to be on the side of denial.

As LifeNews.com reported, Pelosi, one of the top pro-abortion Catholics in elected office in the United States, will meet with Pope on Wednesday…

Jeff Jones, of the Catholic web site Pewsitter, is organizing the petition “requesting the Catholic Bishops of the United States to withhold Communion from her and other prominent Catholics in public life that obstinately persist in their dissent from Catholic teaching on serious moral issues.”…

Jones says Church teachings call Catholics like him to action.

“Most Catholics don’t know that in addition to Canon 915, Canon law also compels Catholics to take action,” Jones says. He says Canon 212 S3 requires lay Catholics to urge Church leaders to action.

Here’s Canon 915, withholding communion from those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin.” The defense, presumably, is that participating in abortion might be a sin but merely supporting laws that legalize the practice doesn’t quite rise to that level. The Pope’s been cool to that argument in the past, declaring in 2007 that Catholic legislators should take care to base their laws on “values grounded in human nature,” which includes respect for life, and then upping the ante a few months later by endorsing the excommunication of leftist Mexican parliamentarians for passing an abortion law. The Vatican quickly and quietly cleaned up the latter remarks to make his approval more ambiguous, though, which demonstrates how reluctant Benedict is to push his rhetoric beyond the mere hortatory. If he makes an example of Pelosi, he’ll alienate Catholic Democrats (and their donations) and touch off a global panic about Catholic politicians having to take their marching orders from Rome. Which is why, I suspect, the worst she’ll have to suffer during their tete a tete is a vague lecture on the importance of informing law with morality.

Look at it this way: If he had some huge problem with her, he wouldn’t be giving her an audience. Exit question: Doesn’t the Gospel according to St. Nancy explicitly endorse abortion?

Update (Ed): I’d say that the Pope should deny her communion, for reasons I’ve outlined in several posts over the last few months. It’s pretty difficult to reconcile paragraphs 2271-4 and 2322 of the catechism with Pelosi’s support of abortion rights, especially 2272:

Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,”77 “by the very commission of the offense,”78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

Excommunication means, quite literally, “no communion”.  The question will be whether the Pope considers Pelosi’s push for abortion rights “formal cooperation”, an interpretation increasingly popular with American bishops tired of Catholics supporting abortions.  If he doesn’t, the Pope will send a signal that participating in the legalization of abortion carries no consequences, an odd signal for this Pope in particular to send.


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Does anyone aside from Ed really care what the Pope thinks?

Actually, even he doesn’t care does he? Given he sanctioned his own daughter getting knocked up out of marriage by some guy.

Hardly orthodox Catholicism.

Ares on February 17, 2009 at 5:54 PM

I wouldn’t expect Christian mercy after a comment like that either. Way out of line.

darclon on February 17, 2009 at 6:02 PM

I’m not a Catholic, so it’s really not my place to give the pope any advice, but that said, of course he should excommunicate Pelosi.

If not, does being a Catholic really mean anything anymore?

29Victor on February 17, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Hmm. Old school, John Waye types, who ate meat, or the generically “intellectual” guy at the Starbucks who looks like he can barely hold up that Dostoevsky novel? Who am I, the American male, going to idolize?

PETA is such a joke.

emailnuevo on February 17, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Ares on February 17, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Whoa… that’s a low blow. Ed?

Abby Adams on February 17, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Whoa, sorry, wrong window.

emailnuevo on February 17, 2009 at 6:05 PM

emailnuevo on February 17, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Sure you got the right thread there, pardner? ;-)

Abby Adams on February 17, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Yes and for giving America and the world the biggest crap sandwich (not a kosher sandwich either) evah until the next budget bill comes down the pike from Peelousy and company.

eaglewingz08 on February 17, 2009 at 6:09 PM

Abby Adams on February 17, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Fighting the good fight can have quite the effect on a Protestant rabblerouser. I’ll recover. :D

emailnuevo on February 17, 2009 at 6:09 PM

I definitely think the Pope should give Pelosi communion — if by “communion” you mean “a kick in the teeth.”

CMS2004 on February 17, 2009 at 6:09 PM

this woman needs an exorcism not communion (and more botox)

Ris4victory on February 17, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Has the Catholic bashing finally stopped? Good. Back to the original topic.

Whether or not the Pope or any other Catholic authority denies Pelosi communion, it is entirely an internal matter for the Roman Catholic Church to deal with. Those of us on the outside have nothing to do with it.

Having said that, I do sincerely hope and pray he is inspired to take the wisest choice.

Marking Time on February 17, 2009 at 6:18 PM

You got to stand for something or you don’t stand for anything. The Pope should not give her Communion. Especially because she waves it around in public that she is Catholic and pro-Abortion. That should be an oxymoron, but sadly it isn’t.

shomegirl on February 17, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Marking Time on February 17, 2009 at 6:00 PM

It is. Happy reading.

pannw on February 17, 2009 at 6:24 PM

I am not Catholic, but their stedfast value on life has always impressed me.

We’ll see how PC they’ve (bishops and the Pope) have become.

I truly hope they hold her accountable for her “choices.”

rightwingmom on February 17, 2009 at 6:40 PM

I agree with the poster who said Pelosi’s real reason for seeing the Pope is to find out if the church will close all those clinics if they’re required by law to perform abortions. I don’t think she cares one whit about whether he lets her have communion. IMO – It’s all about politics for her.

tnmama on February 17, 2009 at 6:42 PM

If the Pope does not deny her Communion then the all of Catholic teachings on serious moral things mean nothing.Sorry to all my Catholic friends but right is right and wrong is wrong.

thmcbb on February 17, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Excommunication is designed to protect the sinner from the dangers of partaking in the sacrament of Eucharist while not right with God. Pelosi and a number of other Catholics need to be excommunicated for their own protection.

Kind of the like the scene in the first Indiana Jones movie when the Nazis’ opened the Ark.

Hening on February 17, 2009 at 6:43 PM

He should deny her communion. If opposing abortion is so important to the Church, then they need to put their money where their mouths are. It’s not like Pelosi is just voicing an opinion about abortion, she wields a lot of power. If the Church doesn’t is so afraid of pissing off the rich and powerful, screw them. I guess it’s only the little people who are accountable for their sins.

Blake on February 17, 2009 at 7:03 PM

I’m Catholic, denied my religion for many years, but thankfully found my way back. If Pelosi had any humility at all then she wouldn’t take Communion. I think we all know how likely that is!

McKenz59 on February 17, 2009 at 7:07 PM

I’m Catholic, denied my religion for many years, but thankfully found my way back. If Pelosi had any humility at all then she wouldn’t take Communion. I think we all know how likely that is!

McKenz59 on February 17, 2009 at 7:07 PM

ditto. Point in fact, I don’t recieve communion because I’m divorced and remarried.

Onager on February 17, 2009 at 7:12 PM

San-Fran-Nan should not receive Communion, but I do believe a Papal Bitch slap is in order. I am not a Catholic, but am passionate about standing on your core values. The Pope should not cow-tow (pun intended)to this Princess in Prada. he should take her down a notch, and do it publicly.

M-14 2go on February 17, 2009 at 7:34 PM

Pelosi taking communion cheapens communion.

FireBlogger on February 17, 2009 at 7:39 PM

I’m with Ed. Shake those sandals hard.

unclesmrgol on February 17, 2009 at 7:40 PM

Being a Catholic, I am taken aback by a number of comments made. Here are my responses to some of these comments:

Does anyone really care what the Pope thinks? Of course! He is the leader of my Church.

Does being a Catholic really mean anything anymore? What ignorance! My being Catholic is a big part of who I am. My life is filled with meaning…

Should the Pope deny Pelosi Communion? In reality, it is the responsibility of the individual to know when they should or should not take Communion. The Pope would merely request Pelosi from taking Communion, and it would be Pelosi who should have the integrity not to take Communion until she re-evaluates her stance on the issues of the sanctity of life. Her stance of the right to life should be enough for the Church to consider Excommunication. This would then allow her only the opportunity for a blessing and not partake in Communion.

There are a lot of “so-called” Catholics who are really not Catholics based on their poor choices and actions in life…this would include some Priests. Pelosi is one of these “so-called” Catholics who use their religion only when it is advantageous to them.

I am a proud convert to the Church. I became Catholic in my adult years after being brought up Buddhist/Shinto (Japanese Mother).

Vivat Jesus,

John

jnrz on February 17, 2009 at 7:53 PM

Personally Allah, the Pope has to pray about this (I’m sure he has) and through God’s grace, God’s will be known. My reccommendation means little or nothing and the same with anyone who would respond to your question.

That said…

Fuquay Steve on February 17, 2009 at 7:59 PM

It is amazing to me how judgmental Catholics are to each other. It’s as though Jesus means very little, but judging others means a lot to Catholics. Where in the Bible does it say you need to go around condemning people to hell? Where in the Bible did Jesus do that? Did Jesus condemn his executioners to hell? Did Jesus condemn the hooker to hell? But yet, all the ‘devoted’ Catholics here are ready to do Jesus’ job for Him and send Pelosi and 3/4 of the other American Catholics to hell over their WRONG stance on abortion.

I know most Catholics wish I was a Catholic just so that they could ‘excommunicate’ me. Seriously. All this talk about the Catholic Church and the Pope and none about Jesus.

I’ve said many many many times. . . if it weren’t for the Catholic politicians, abortion would not be legal. Most of the pro-life movement ends up being Protestants fighting against Pelosi, Guiliani, Steele, Kerry, etc. etc. etc.

You Catholics might not think that Jerry Falwell is in heaven (because he wasn’t Catholic), but he personally did more to fight against abortion than any Catholic living or dead.

ThackerAgency on February 17, 2009 at 8:30 PM

May lightning strike the Botox queen and melt her plastic face.

dmann on February 17, 2009 at 8:34 PM

what the Pope needs to do, is get all up in her face, and yell at her as if she pissed on the floor in her second grade classroom. she is nothing but a TWO BIT NAPPY HEADED HO, along with hitlery cliton, maxine waters, the other beotches that voted yes for the nobomba package, yep the whole lot of em. our country is ruined, even the terrorist cant thrash it like our own govt has. whatever

cando333 on February 17, 2009 at 8:40 PM

ThackerAgency on February 17, 2009 at 8:30 PM

I don’t know didn’t Fred Phelps and his Baptist Church accomplish quite a bit?

Just remember, don’t judge and just talk about your mutual relationships with Jesus.
sarc/

Way to smear Catholics with a broad brush and regurgitated evangelical talking points again, Thacker.

darclon on February 17, 2009 at 8:40 PM

While the Pope is the Pope, he also is a shepherd to his flock, the Catholics of the world. He will probably, in charity and love, take the opportunity to try to lead this lost sheep back to communion with the teachings of the church that she so publicly and erroneously misrepresents. BXVI is very dedicated to the preservation of the message and mission of the Church so such an action seems entirely in keeping with his character. Respect for life is too central a tenet to the RCC for BXVI to give her behavior a free pass.

At least that’s what I hope he does. I seriously doubt that Pelosi would allow herself to be put in the position of being refused the Eucharist.

inmypajamas on February 17, 2009 at 8:41 PM

People in grass houses should never throw goats.

Thacker, you apparently have some issues. Were you abused by a priest as a child or something? Catholicism has rules, and by these rules she should not receive communion. If the leader and enforcer of the Catholic church cannot enforce the very rules that he swore to teach, we have bigger problems in the Church.

Now go run and hide… I hear there’s another Crusade heading toward your neighborhood any day now. ;-)

cannonball on February 17, 2009 at 8:47 PM

cannonball on February 17, 2009 at 8:47 PM

Welcome to the disfunctional family ;-)

dmann on February 17, 2009 at 8:51 PM

If he makes an example of Pelosi, he’ll alienate Catholic Democrats (and their donations) and touch off a global panic about Catholic politicians having to take their marching orders from Rome.

I think there is a difference between the Church demanding politicians adherence to Catholic notions of tax policy and demanding adherence to a basic respect for human life.

It would be interesting to see given the choice which Pelosi and her ilk value more – infanticide or her supposed religion.

18-1 on February 17, 2009 at 8:52 PM

I don’t think she’s excommunicated latae sententiae unless she actively participates in procuring an abortion.

However I do believe she should be excommunicated for her open support of abortion in the political sphere. Excommunication is done for two reasons:
(1) to protect the sinner, since receiving communion in state of serious sin is even worse than the prior sin, and (2) to protect the faithful from scandal.

Regarding (1) the Church generally leaves it up to the individual to determine whether they are in a fit state to receive, but in cases of public sin and a large dose of ignorance (see Pelosi) the Church sometimes takes matters into its own hands for the individual’s sake.

Regarding (2), however, the case is even more clear. Pelosi is openly Catholic, and openly pro-abortion, and even tries to publicly make the case that the two are not opposed. This causes a lot of confusion for semi-informed Catholics. The Church needs to make it crystal clear that you can’t support abortion and still be Catholic. Period.

Gaunilon on February 17, 2009 at 8:52 PM

It is amazing to me how judgmental Catholics are to each other. It’s as though Jesus means very little…

ThackerAgency on February 17, 2009 at 8:30 PM

It is equally amazing how you fail to notice that your statement is also judgmental.

Yes, Catholics care about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which includes the Commandments — or at least they should care. They should also care enough about the innocent to call for their protection under the law.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Abortion constitutes murder. Murder is a sin against the Commandments. (“Thou shalt not kill.”) Cooperation or otherwise enabling a sinful act constitutes participation in the sin. St Paul wrote that “whosoever eats or drinks unworthily of the Body and Blood of Christ brings condemnation upon themselves…” This is why the Sacrament of Communion must be approached in a state of grace.

In the case of a public official promoting or supporting legalized abortion, it is a decision freely made. No one forces them to represent their constituents in that way; their conscience might compel them to find more honorable work. That said, Madame Speaker has made her choice. And because the choice is public, it is compounded by the error of scandal, thus the admonition must eventually be public, given the failure of a private attempt.

That one is denied Communion, is out of the need for one’s repentance. That one is a politician does not let them off the hook, nor does it single them out from Catholics who lead private lives, for they too are subject to the same standard.

manwithblackhat on February 17, 2009 at 8:58 PM

ThackerAgency on February 17, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Nice. I leave for 3 hours, come back and now Thacker is the deranged evangelical Catholic basher on the thread.

JAM on February 17, 2009 at 9:31 PM

Should the Pope deny communion to Pelosi for being pro-choice?

Yes.

If she wants to continue being a Roman Catholic, she should have to abide by the precepts and principles of the Roman Catholic Church.

Her being a representative of her constituents is no excuse. If she refuses to vote contrary to the will of the people she represents, and yet wants to remain a Roman Catholic in good standing, she should resign from the House of Representatives and allow someone else to represent her district.

You can’t claim to serve God faithfully while being at Mammon’s beck and call.

Harpazo on February 17, 2009 at 10:21 PM

What good are rules if you don’t follow them? If faith and religion are more like “guidelines”, where is any obligation to do what is expected?

RedTiger62 on February 17, 2009 at 10:59 PM

If we were living in the 1930s in Germany and Pelosi was a prominent German politician who advocated the “Final Solution” for the Jews, the Pope would have no moral choice but to excommunicate her.

How is this any different?

ksm on February 17, 2009 at 11:15 PM

Accepting the Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is itself a grave sin. If she has not made confession since the last time she acted in support of the intrinsic evil of abortion she should not receive communion. I believe she tried to get money in the stimulus bill for Planned Parenthood, saying too many babies were a burden on state education and health budgets. Unless she received absolution since then it is best for her that she not receive communion.

Judge not lest we be judged. Let’s hope some good should come from her trip.

Ted Torgerson on February 17, 2009 at 11:43 PM

I’m a Catholic, and I know that denying communion is done not as a punitive measure, but to protect the person from receiving the eucharist in a state of sin. Knowingly promoting abortion as Pelosi has done has put her in a state of mortal sin, and every Catholic priest I know would deny her communion. I’ll be surprised if she receives communion from the Pope.

Vegi on February 18, 2009 at 12:15 AM

Pelozi is the mother of the antichrist..

He should make her hold a crucifix like in the movies
and see if it melts..
Or if she does,..

jcila on February 18, 2009 at 12:46 AM

I’m a first time poster, but have followed HA for quite some time.

As a Roman Catholic, I have to say that the question being asked, “should the Pope deny Pelosi Holy Communion?” is in itself flawed because a) Pelosi won’t be attending a papal mass where she could be denied by the Holy Father on the spot, and b)the Church has a heirarchy in which Pelosi’s crimes against the unborn are to be addressed and sanctioned by her local Bishop.

This should have been done along time ago, and done by the local Bishops of every other abortion loving Catholic pol, but that is for another post.

Pope Benedict can, however, if she is to have any conversation time with him, address her blood thirsty and definately anti-Catholic beliefs and actions.

Anyway, I’m about to hit the submit comment button, and hope for the best. In other words, be nice to me; I’m a rookie.

tigerlily on February 18, 2009 at 1:34 AM

I don’t think she should be offered nor denied anything until I see proof that she’s not constructed entirely of latex and foam rubber.

DrZin on February 18, 2009 at 3:13 AM

You Catholics might not think that Jerry Falwell is in heaven (because he wasn’t Catholic), but he personally did more to fight against abortion than any Catholic living or dead.

ThackerAgency

I really can’t tell if you’re being intentionally provocative or genuinely stupid.

SKYFOX on February 18, 2009 at 5:09 AM

I agree with the poster who said Pelosi’s real reason for seeing the Pope is to find out if the church will close all those clinics if they’re required by law to perform abortions. I

The utter insanity of it all. Catholic health clinics providing baby-murder services. Are you kidding me?

seanrobins on February 18, 2009 at 7:01 AM

The Pope should actually sprinkle her with holy water and see if she melts. Indulgences are also back in and the Church could fund a few missions from what she could provide.

Fuquay Steve on February 18, 2009 at 7:23 AM

The rookie gets it exactly correct:

Pope deny Pelosi Holy Communion?” is in itself flawed because a) Pelosi won’t be attending a papal mass where she could be denied by the Holy Father on the spot, and b)the Church has a heirarchy in which Pelosi’s crimes against the unborn are to be addressed and sanctioned by her local Bishop.

Indeed. I suspect the Holy Father will leave the question of excommunication up to Pelosi’s bishop or priest, where it belongs. Popes have not dabbled much in micromanagement since the Middle Ages, and then, only in extreme circumstances. And somebody else said something insightful:

touch off a global panic about Catholic politicians having to take their marching orders from Rome

Those of us who are old enough to remember when there was a great deal of overt anti-Catholicism will recall that one of the most frequent diatribes against Catholics running for office was that they would be beholden to a foreign power. If bishops and priests did start excommunicating pro-abortion politicians, make no mistake, lots of Protestants, including some of the nastier commenters here who call themselves pro-life, would be screaming this from the rooftops.

Be careful what you wish for, Ed.

rightwingprof on February 18, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Abso-freakin-lutely!!!!!!

TrickyDick on February 18, 2009 at 2:10 PM

ThackerAgency:

As a Catholic I don’t judge others, but I strongly believe that those who call themselves “Catholic” should follow the doctrine and dogma of the Church. As far as condemning anyone to hell, people condemn themselves to hell, no one can do it for them! As I said before, if Pelosi really cared about her religion, and had any humility or integrity whatsoever, she wouldn’t take communion.

McKenz59 on February 18, 2009 at 3:34 PM

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