US bishops react to Pelosi’s exclusion from Eucharist

On Friday afternoon, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco issued a statement announcing that United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not permitted to receive the Eucharist in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, because of his efforts to codify federal abortion protections.

Many U.S. bishops have responded to Cordileone’s statement. The pillar will compile those answers here and update them as statements become available.

Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco. Credit: Steubenville Conferences (CC_BY_3.0).


Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver:

I know that Bishop Cordileone is a shepherd with the heart and mind of Christ, who truly desires to lead others to Christ’s love, mercy and promise of eternal salvation…He has done everything possible to try to skip this step…

[T]his problem is not politics or simply applying the rules of the Church, but rather love – love for the individual and love for the whole community.

The teaching of the Church is clear that people put their souls in danger if they are separated from God because of serious sin and then receive the most Holy Eucharist in an unworthy way. If the Church truly loves them, as it does, then it is more than appropriate to call them back to an intimate relationship with each person of the Trinity through repentance before receiving the body and blood of Jesus in some who risks their eternal salvation…

And when that person is a public person, love for the community means guarding against scandal and confusion and allowing others to be drawn into sin if they do not see the matter dealt with in a proper and compassionate way.

-Declaration of May 20, excerpt

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Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City:

Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland:

Bishop Liam Cary of Baker, Oregon:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi proudly combines the “devout” practice of the Catholic faith in her personal life with the high-profile promotion of legalized abortion in her political life. The outrageous discrepancy between belief and behavior on the part of the Speaker of the House gravely misleads his co-religionists about Catholic teaching on social justice and seriously handicaps Catholic efforts to defend unborn life in the womb.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone repeatedly brought these sad facts to Rep. Pelosi’s attention and called her to repentance. In response, the President defiantly doubled down on her uncompromising plea for unlimited abortion, setting herself up as an example for Catholic politicians who deliberately stray from the saving clarity of the gospel of life. At the same time, by choosing to actively ally herself with the most extreme proponents of abortion, Rep. Pelosi has unilaterally severed communion with Archbishop Cordileone and the flock he leads. She withdrew from fellowship with the Church.

excerpt from press release dated May 20

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Bishop James Conley of Lincoln:

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Bishop Donald Hying of Madison:

I fully support Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s cautious decision to acknowledge that Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, has consistently taken public positions in favor of legal abortion, contrary to her professed Catholic faith, choosing to separate from full communion with the Catholic Church, and therefore must not appear for the reception of Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Bishop Cordileone’s public statement made it clear that this serious measure is “purely pastoral, not political” in a further attempt “to help him understand the grave evil it is committing, the scandal it is causing and the danger it is ‘she stands for her own soul’. risk…’ This is not a decision that was taken lightly, but rather one made after almost a decade of patient dialogue and repeated attempts at reconciliation with the MP and the consistent teachings of the Catholic Church. Please join me in praying for President Pelosi, that she may embrace the sacred truth and dignity of the human person, formed in the womb, in the image of God.

-Declaration of May 20

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois:

Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, with a 🧵:

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas:

Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa (where Rep. Pelosi has a vacation home):

I visited the pastor of [Pelosi’s parish] and informed him that if the Archbishop forbade anyone to receive Holy Communion, that restriction followed the person and the pastor was not free to ignore it.

-Declaration to The pillar

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