Archbishop of Washington Chides Pelosi; Denver Archbishop Warns Biden to Skip Communion

From Fox News:

Irked by pro-choice Democrats who tout their Catholicism, the archbishop of Washington is chiding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for misstating church history and the archbishop of Denver is warning vice presidential hopeful Joe Biden not to take Communion.

The unusual public rebukes come as both Pelosi and Biden are talking up their faith in a bid for swing voters as Democrats stage their national convention in Denver. In an interview Sunday, Pelosi claimed to be an expert on the church’s abortion stance.

“As an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time,” Pelosi told NBC’s Tom Brokaw, who had asked her when life begins. “And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know.”

When Brokaw pointed out that the Catholic church “feels very strongly” that life begins at conception, Pelosi said: “I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy.”

In an interview with FOX News on Tuesday, Archbishop Donald Wuerl said people need to reflect more before they start talking about church doctrine. He also issued a statement calling Pelosi’s explanation of the church’s abortion stance “incorrect.”

“The current teaching of the Catholic Church on human life and abortion is the same teaching as it was 2,000 years ago,” Wuerl noted. “From the beginning, the Catholic Church has respected the dignity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.”

Wuerl cited a passage from the church’s catechism that condemns abortion as “gravely contrary to moral law.”

“Since the first century the church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the catechism states. “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”

In an afternoon response, Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said that as mother of five, the speaker appreciates the “sanctity of family.”

“While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view. The speaker agrees with the Church that we should reduce the number of abortions. She believes that can be done by making family planning more available, as well as by increasing the number of comprehensive age-appropriate sex education and caring adoption programs. The speaker has a long, proud record of working with the Catholic Church on many issues, including alleviating poverty and promoting social justice and peace,” said spokesman Brendan Daly.

Biden too has disagreed with the catechism, as evidenced by a 2006 interview he gave to C-SPAN, which asked him about abortion.

“That debate in our church has not morphed, but changed over a thousand years,” Biden said. “It always is viewed by the church as something that is wrong, but there’s been gradations of whether it was wrong. You know, from venial or mortal sin, as we Catholics say, and versions of it.”

But Biden added that since Pope Pius IX’s reign (1846-1878), “it’s been pretty clear that’s been automatic — moment of conception.”

Over the weekend, Biden’s pro-choice views raised the ire of Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput.

“I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for communion, if he supports a false ‘right’ to abortion,” Chaput told The Associated Press.

As for Pelosi, Chaput called her “a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills. Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.”

Chaput added that abortion “is always gravely evil, and so are the evasions employed to justify it.”
During that 2004 presidential campaign, Chaput and a dozen other bishops called on Democratic nominee John Kerry to refrain from taking Communion. The church has also objected to former GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani taking Communion.

“I think some of it is regional,” said Pelosi, whose district encompasses San Francisco, in a recent interview with C-SPAN. “It depends on the bishop of a certain region and, fortunately for me, Communion has not been withheld and I’m a regular Communicant, so that would be a severe blow to me if that were the case.”

On Saturday, when Obama introduced Biden as his running mate, both men made a point of mentioning Biden’s Catholicism. Obama has struggled to win over Catholics, 52 percent of whom voted for President Bush in 2004.


One Response to Archbishop of Washington Chides Pelosi; Denver Archbishop Warns Biden to Skip Communion

  1. 5-Pillar Scribe says:

    Even the Catholic Church has had enough of this secularist, political-elitist stance. Religious practicing people from all walks would do well to understand that a clear message is being brought down by the Archbishops: “Your political persuasion and power can get you only so far. This castigation is a test (jihad) for the two Dems to seek more into their inner conscience and determine what is worth fighting for more: their ego-driven desire for status, or the desire of their souls to do what their God expects of them?” This message should apply to all people of religions living in secular nations.

    For the past decades secularism has been chipping away at religious belief, and yes, by design. I wonder if these two politicians have the gall to call these Archbishops ‘extremists’ or ‘fundamentalists,’ as Muslims have these titles attributed to them simply for wearing a head scarf or growing their beard.

    Muslims in the U.S. were once attracted to the Republican Party, they espoused a belief in God (even if it wasn’t always practiced). The right and obligation to create and maintain strong family ties was more congruent with the anti-gay and anti-abortion stances of the right.

    Now that a certain group within the ‘right’ has wronged the world and the nation on many levels; Muslims and believers of other faiths seem more attracted to the Democrats. The fact is, both Republicans and Democrats are of the same coin.

    They compliment each other to make a whole secular, two-party nation (which is by far a true example of democracy). In an upcoming article, I will attempt to discuss this topic further.

    I suppose that after they’re finished with helping to destroy Muslims around the world (with their silence), these top-level Democrats, the Speaker of the House and Obama’s Vice-Presidential candidate, are going to show the Catholic Church and other religious institutions that the US of A will not stand for that religious “mumbo jumbo.” It’s a shame that the leaders of the ‘free world’ are not so enthusiastically welcomed in their own religious circles.

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