Catholic House Republicans respond to Speaker Pelosi (D-CA)

Republicans in the US House of Representatives have reacted to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her remarks to Tom Brokaw on Meet The Press.  I got this from Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

Catholic House Republicans respond to Pelosi’s abortion lies

On Sunday, Nancy Pelosi told several lies about the Catholic Church’s teaching and historical perspective on abortion and the fundamental sanctity of human life throughout its development. Ten House Republicans have responded respectfully but forcefully to refute Pelosi’s deliberate deceptions:

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

On the Sunday, August 24th, broadcast of NBC’s Meet the Press, you stated “as an ardent, practicing Catholic, [abortion] is an issue that I have studied for a long time.” As fellow Catholics and legislators, we wish you would have made a more honest effort to lay out the authentic position of the Church on this core moral issue before attempting to address it with authority.

Your subsequent remarks mangle Catholic Church doctrine regarding the inherent sanctity and dignity of human life; therefore, we are compelled to refute your error.

In the interview, Tom Brokaw reminded you that the Church professes the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. As stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being” (2274).

To this, you responded, “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.” Unfortunately, your statement demonstrates a lack of understanding of Catholic teaching and belief regarding abortion.

From the Apostles of the first century to Pope John Paul the Great “the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” (Catechism 2271).

Thus, your erroneous claim about the history of the Church’s opposition to abortion is false and denigrates our common Faith. For example, during the reign of Pope Innocent XI in 1679, the Church unequivocally stated it is an error for Catholics to believe fetuses do not have a soul; and confirmed the teaching that abortion constitutes homicide.

To reduce the scandal and consternation caused amongst the faithful by your remarks, we necessarily write you to correct the public record and affirm the Church’s actual and historical teaching that defends the sanctity of human life. We hope that you will rectify your errant claims and apologize for misrepresenting the Church’s doctrine and misleading fellow Catholics.


Hon. Thaddeus G. McCotter (MI)
Hon. Steve Chabot (OH)
Hon. Virginia Foxx (NC)
Hon. Phil Gingrey (GA)
Hon. Peter King (NY)
Hon. Steve King (IA)
Hon. Daniel Lungren (CA)
Hon. Devin Nunes (CA)
Hon. John Sullivan (OK)
Hon. Patrick Tiberi (OH)

This list may grow; one source says that John Boehner, the House Minority Leader, has already added his signature.  As more join this list, I’ll update this post with the additions.

UPDATE:  Here is the letter sent by the Congressman to Speak Pelosi:

Final List of Signatories: McCotter, Chabot, Foxx, Gingrey, King (NY), King (IA), Lungren, Nunes, Sullivan, Tiberi, Boehner, English, Shmidt, Walsh, Fortenberry, McCaul, Ryan, Jones, Ferguson

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Seminarian says:

    The top story on is “Archbishops Scold Biden, Pelosi on Abortion”.

  2. Paul Haley says:

    Ms. Pelosi has opened up a can of worms with her preposterous claims on national TV. The repercussions, I believe, will be long and lasting but, you know, Our Lord has a long record of bringing good out of evil and such may be the case now. We have to pray that Ms. Pelosi will make a public recanting of her views and that she will be reformed in the faith so-to-speak. As an aside, I find it remarkable that Tom Brokaw had the guts to take her to task with such probing questions. But, then again, Tom is an Okie and, I suspect, a conservative at heart but I could be wrong.

  3. Paul Haley says:

    Sorry, folks, Tom B. was born in South Dakota and spent a large amount of time in Omaha, NE. Oh well, that’s enough to pick up some conservative views, I suspect.

  4. Have any of the Catholic House Democrats on this list (excluding Ms. Pelosi, of course) been approached to sign this? Until and unless one or more of them sign, I believe this may run the risk of being dismissed as just another act of partisanship. On the other hand, refusal of people on that list to sign may be viewed as a act of partisanship as well…

  5. Scott says:

    Who’d have thought this was possible! Politicians making sense!

    I agree that this may be easily dismissed as partisanship. Does anyone have a list of the Catholic democratic representatives, so that we could write and ask them to join the letter?

  6. JSP says:

    Is Peter King pro-life?

    I always assumed otherwise..

  7. Paul says:

    Not sure whether Peter King is pro-life or not but even pro-abortion politicians can sign this letter. Pelosi misrepreseted The Catholic Church’s position and it is vital she admits this and corrects her argument. As disgraceful as it is to pro-abortion at least have the decency to truthfully reflect the Church’s view.

  8. Aristotle,

    A group of Catholic Democrats is certainly welcome to put to out their own statement. I wonder how tiny that list would be if it were produced.

    It’s partisan only because the Democratic party has become the party of death, advocating everything from abortion to euthanasia and embryonic destruction for experimental purposes.

  9. Tobias says:

    Peter King supported Giuliani. Would he have signed this statement if Giuliani
    had said it?

  10. JohnE says:

    I was wondering the same thing. I would be pleasantly shocked to see Catholic Democrats sign such a statement. It is an election year after all and power is more important than principle for some.

  11. tertullian says:

    “Have any of the Catholic House Democrats on this list (excluding Ms. Pelosi, of course) been approached to sign this?”

    Cynthia McKinney is Catholic?

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