Editorial: Nancy and the Archbishop

Column By Mike Bibb

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (CA-D), has apparently prodded the ire of San Francisco’s Catholic Archbishop.  Again.   

This time, he recently let her know he wasn’t a happy camper.

In a letter released on May 20, 2022, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone finally put his foot down on Nancy’s continued support of abortion and ignoring the archbishop’s previous admonitions to refrain from such behavior or risk further church sanctions.

Apparently, the archbishop has more spine than most of Nancy’s political buddies in Washington.

The archbishop advised Nancy, “As you have not publicly repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come.”

Continuing with his administrative authority, the archbishop let Nancy know, “I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.”

Looks like the archbishop isn’t overly impressed with Nancy’s political opinions and skills, but more interested in preserving the integrity of Catholic doctrines.

Wishy-washy politicians are a dime-a-hundred, whose primary ambitions appear focused on the next election.  Whereas, the Catholic Church has been a viable institution for over a dozen centuries, and certainly has more accumulated experience, hindsight, and foresight than Nancy could ever imagine. 

Joe Biden, only the second Catholic to be elected President of the United States, has received similar criticism on his abortion views but has not been denied communion – yet.

However, there is no guarantee he will not eventually receive a letter from his bishop asking him to “rethink” his views on abortion.  At 79, maybe with no more elections to pander to or political ladders to climb, his rent-free lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. will be up for renewal in 2024.  Either by him or someone else. 

Unfortunately, arrogance and ignorance are most politicians’ downfall.  Nancy appears to be wandering down that well-worn path.

Following the recent leak from the Supreme Court regarding the Roe v Wade abortion controversy, Nancy broadcast to the Seattle Times, on May 4, 2022, “The very idea they would be telling women the size, timing or whatever of their family, the personal nature of this is so appalling, and I say this as a devout Catholic.  They say to me, ‘Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the Pope.’  Yes, I do.  Are you stupid?” 

Coming from the lips of Nancy Pelosi, that remark could either be considered a Freudian slip or an oxymoron.  Maybe, a Freudian oxymoron – if there’s such a thing.

Let’s face it, Nancy’s decades in politics have been rife with various controversies.  Some are inconsequential while others are more conspicuous.  Her Trump impeachment hysterics and on-off-on-off-on inconsistent COVID masking exhibitions are an example.

Nevertheless, she’s never been considered a deep thinker or overly wise in meaningful decisions.

To her credit, she’s played the political game very well.  Rising to become Speaker of the United States House of Representatives – first in line behind the vice president to become president if the need arose – is a notable accomplishment.

Nancy is a hardcore Democrat Party trooper, dutifully carrying out assignments and responsibilities commensurable with her recognition as a Washington power broker.  In this respect, she’s not alone.  Several others – Democrats and Republicans – with comparable motives, share an affinity for the same sort of laudatory acknowledgment.

It must be an intoxicating fixation in which constant attention can only be gratified through the application of candidly performed stunts and pranks; guaranteed to merit a New York Times headline and perpetual loop of an MSNBC News broadcast.

On the flip side, Nancy’s antics haven’t, obviously, fooled everyone.  She may profess to be a devout Catholic out one side of her mouth while enthusiastically endorsing the pro-abortion mantra from the other.

The archbishop reminded her “Please know that I find no pleasure whatsoever in fulfilling my pastoral duty here.  Speaker Pelosi remains our sister in Christ.  Her advocacy for the care of the poor and vulnerable elicits my admiration.  I assure you my action here is purely pastoral, not political.”

Poor Nancy, caught between a rock and a hard place.  I guess she feels a woman of her significance has to do what a woman of her significance has to do.  Conversely, it appears the archbishop — representing the church — is reacting by doing what he feels he must do.

In this case, I don’t believe Nancy can form a subcommittee of partisan Democrats to help extract her from a mess of her own making, or blame the Catholic Church’s restrictions on Trump. 

She might try.   After all, she’s told everyone she’s smarter than the Pope.

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author.

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