Reactions to Speaker Pelosi keep coming

Folks, we mustn’t forget the grand scale of scandal committed by Speak of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Meet The Press.

News cycles are short these days.  It would be easy to let this scroll off the public screen.

So, bloggers should do their best to keep this story fresh until there are real consequences.

To that end, I direct your attention to something that American Papist posted.  He has an entry with some good reactions to Pelosi’s remarks.

This especially caught my eye:

Father Thomas Williams:

The most disturbing element of Speaker Pelosi’s comments, however, was not her historical fudging, her disingenuous misrepresentation of Catholic moral teaching or her implicit adoption of cafeteria Catholicism. It was her insouciant dismissal of the moral significance of abortion. She said that in the end, it didn’t matter when life begins anyway. Her exact words were: “The point is, is that it [when life begins] shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.” No matter when human life begins, a mother’s right trumps a baby’s, and that right includes the choice to destroy the child. This is irreconcilable not only with Catholic morality, but with the most basic natural ethics.

Pundits and liberal commentators have predictably accused the bishops of playing politics and using Speaker Pelosi’s comments to further the agenda of the Republican party. Any objective observer knows this is not the case. If Speaker Pelosi didn’t want a response, she should not have forced the bishops’ hands. And if the Democrats’ star running back steps out of bounds, it’s not the referees’ fault for calling it.

Speaker Pelosi can campaign for abortion all she likes, but to do so as an “ardent, practicing Catholic” is to invite a stiff correction. Americans still value truth in advertising, and know that words have meanings. “Catholic” means pro-life.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Isn’t her archbishop planning to comment in the September 5 issue of the diocesan newspaper? Perhaps that will lead to a brief flare-up. Might he be waiting until he can talk to her and give her advice/warning?

  2. Francesco says:

    Massachusetts Catholic,

    I was thinking the same thing. Hopefully that will draw attention, especially the media’s attention, to the Speaker’s horrendous twisting of Catholic teaching again.

    It would be also great if something came out of Rome on this. After all, Speaker Pelosi isn’t just some American…she’s the most powerful woman in the USA and perhaps on the whole North American Continent. Futhermore, I don’t think it’s just American politicians who are distoring Catholic teaching. I wish Canon Law would be amended so as to be made crystal clear on this subject.

  3. larry says:

    to be honest, though, there’s one reason and one reason only that this flap has occurred: it’s part of the Dems’ playbook this year.

    In previous years, Pelosi wouldve just talked Roe v Wade, left the Church out of it, and we would have muttered.

    However, after their most recent presidential election loss, they glommed onto the fact that religious voters were significant, so the Dems’ decided they had to get them some religion. Suddenly, Dems talked about things like “spirituality” and “deeply held personal values”. Those in identifiable churches and denominations made their religious practice part of their talking points.

    So, it was inevitable that someone would be asks about abortion, and if his/her head didn’t explode in the process, would attempt to synthesize Church teaching with Democratic platform fodder.

    It just happened to be the Speaker of the House. God works in amazing, beautiful ways… ;)

  4. TNCath says:

    No doubt Speaker Pelosi now knows she is distorting Catholic teaching despite her protests to the contrary. Eventually this is going to have to come down to a showdown between her archbishop and herself, not as Speaker of the House, but as a Catholic. It seems to me that the American bishops are being forced to confront this issue they have been long avoiding. Eventually they will realize why we have canonical penalties and will appreciate the wisdom of Archbishop Raymond Burke and the other American bishops who have been defending Church teachings.

  5. Political correctness has been preventing the word “heretic” from being used today. But I cannot see any better use for this word than for someone who claims to be a Catholic and yet who holds a view contrary to the (unchangeable) Magisterium of the Church, that is, who adheres to heresy. Dissident “Catholics” who create scandal and lead the faithful into sin are heretics. Influential “Catholic” politicians such as Pelosi and apparently Biden are heretics in the true sense when they spread their heresy to the Catholic public.

  6. So who’s “responsible” for her? Archbishop Niederaur or Archbishop Wuerl? I mean in the sense of who needs to start actively catechising Mrs. Pelosi? Given the gravity and publicity of this scandal, are they not obliged to take a much more immediate action (and I mean persuasion more than punishment) since her soul is clearly in danger given her persistance in this matter?
    Otherwise, part of the whole scandal is that her immediate shepherd(s) are not being more active in their duty.
    I just fear that these two archbishops may “assume” it is the other one’s job to deal with the situation.
    I’m thankful to see them making public statements, but if they fall on (willfully) deaf ears, then they need to push the issue more.
    I pray that her absurd statements have been enough to awake the sleeping guard dog that is the (majority of the) US bishops.

  7. GSCcsc says:

    While I get Francesco’s point, I think that he overstates Ms Pelosi’s power and importance. Yes, she is Speaker of the House, but this issue is more about her as a badly educated Catholic who operates in the public sphere. What she needs is good pastoral leadership from her bishop; what the country needs is good magisterial leadership from them – and both she and we seem to be getting what we need in this election cycle. We don’t need Rome to speak or act – the “Roman position” on these matters is clear and the teaching is uncontroverted. It is simply a matter of the bishops exercising their authority in a clear and authentic matter. Politicians need to be corrected and taught the truth as it is articulated in teaching of the Church (first privately and they increasingly publicly as warranted) and the misinformation and scandal of their public statements must be addressed publicly so that the Christian faithful may also better understand the errors they contain and be led to the truth, as well. It seems to me that the pastoral leadership of the american hierarchy – both in their own dioceses and on the national level – has been unprecedented and exemplary. We are experiencing sound pastoral leadership at work.

  8. Frank H says:

    I have been e-mailing the major media outlets encouraging them to follow up on this story. Perhaps a flurry of such e-mails might catch their attention?

  9. TNCath says:

    I’d think both Archbishops Niederaurer and Wuerl bear responsibility for Speaker Pelosi. Once again, if a imprisoned bishop in China can remain steadfast in the Faith, why can’t two American archbishops stand up for the Faith and confront her straight on? Perhaps the bishops need to be reminded one of the verses of “Faith of our Fathers”:

    Our Fathers chained in prisons dark,
    Were still in heart and conscience free.
    How blest would be their children’s fate,
    If they like them should die for Thee.

  10. Paul Haley says:

    Her exact words were: “The point is, is that it [when life begins] shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.”

    How is this ethical treatment of the right to choose different from the horrible “medical experiments” conducted by the Nazis in the death camps. Is Speaker Pelosi the modern-day equivalent of Dr. Mengele?

    The name of ‘Dr Josef Mengele’ is synonymous with the barbarism which characterised Nazi medical experiments. He earned his reputation as an SS doctor at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he personally presided over the selections of incoming transports. He experimented particularly on twins and dwarfs, and he was known to have killed many of them himself to allow dissection of their bodies. The infamy of Dr Mengele has tended to overshadow the fact that many other Nazi doctors and scientists were involved in experimentation on human beings. At least 70 medical research projects of various kinds were conducted in Nazi
    concentration camps.

    We have an obligation, it seems to me, to characterize Speaker Pelosi’s action for what it was: a blatant attempt to ignore the most basic of human rights, the right to Life. Freedom does not mean license and ethics, morality and principles are what is important when we elect our public servants. This is especially important in the upcoming national elections when we will have the opportunity to demonstrate same.

  11. Ave Maria says:

    A ‘right’ to choose? Choose what? Choose what to wear? Choose to have sex? Or choose to commit murder? NO ONE has a ‘right’ to choose to commit murder–bottom line, natural law. God is the Author of Life and those who buy into and promote the culture of death are anti-God! Hello!

    This woman needs more than a bishop saying, I will need to speak to her privately and then never seeming to have the opportunity. Baloney. That is a coward coweing behind a miter. This woman and others like her are outside the Church by their own public dissent and blatant heresy. It is sacrilege, as Archbishop Burke reminds us, for her to continue to come forward and stick out her (bloodstained) hands to receive Holy Communion.

    Yes, the DNC was working to play the ‘catholic’ card and trotted out some dissenting ‘nuns’ too. And I know that in many ways many are CINO and think it is okay to embrace the intrinsic evils. It is NOT okay. It will never be okay.

  12. Brian says:

    Archbishop Niederauer’s contact information is:

    Most Rev. George H. Niederauer
    One Peter Yorke Way
    San Francisco, Ca 94109

    telephone is 415-614-5500

    email is

    A few days ago, I called and wrote a brief respectful email.

    Yesterday, I received a personal response to my email from the diocesan office. The email stated that Archbishop Niederauer was aware of the USCCB’s response before it was issued. Rather than issue an immediate statement, which would have been repetitive, Archbishop Niederauer is going to issue a statement in the diocesan newspaper on Sept 5th.

    I replied with a brief, positive request that Archbishop Niederaurer respond to this public scandal by instructing Nancy Pelosi that she should not be receiving Communion.

    Perhaps others may want to do the same.

  13. Jane M says:

    Nancy Pelosi made so many remarkably awful statements all at once that it is taking time to sort them out. The statement that she made about it not making any difference to a woman’s right to choose was truly appalling. But the one that seems most important to me right at this moment is where she said that the doctrine of abortion was *regional* and no-one had personally told her to change. At this point if her own Bishop doesn’t correct her that remark will stand. She will feel vindicated. And I think “her own Bishop” means both ++Wuerl and ++Niederauer.

  14. Jean says:

    I don’t remember the source, but I seem to recall a statementthat Ms. Peolosi does not “present herself for communion.”

  15. Brian says:

    As reported at:

    Following the scandal of pro-choice Catholic politicians receiving Communion at the Papal Mass in Washington, Archbishop Wuerl issued the following statement:

    “The decision concerning the refusal of Holy Communion to an individual can best be made by the bishop in the person’s home diocese with whom he or she presumably is in conversation.”

    Ii I am not mistaken, I believe that this position is also that of the USCCB, which would place the responsibility with Archbishop Niederauer.

    If, however, one wishes to do so, you can contact Archbishop Wuerl at:

    P.O. Box 29260
    Washington, DC 20017-0260

    Phone: 301-853-4500

    Archdiocesan Director of Communications
    Susan Gibbs

    Phone: 301-853-4517

  16. Warren says:

    Gimme that ol’ time religion – y’know, when by plain and powerful language people were blessed, or censured so that they could realize that their actions had brought them to the brink of hell and, faced with the thought of eternal separation from God because of their actions, they could realize the gravity of their actions and consequently repent of their sins and be brought back to communion. If folk like Pelosi won’t listen to the fine edge of reason, then use a blunt instrument to get their attention.

    Approaches to correction may rightly differ. There may be attempts, some legitimate and some not so well founded, to mitigate culpability. The Church teaches that we are capable of so much more than the low view of humanity promoted by licentious men. Weak excuses only complicate recovery and reform. We deserve correction and support that appeals to and respects our human dignity.

    If we coddle blasphemers, heretics and the like, how is that showing them love? Bottom line, we have an obligation to inform the world that heaven is real, and if heaven, hell also. We do no one any favour if we gloss over mischief that is connected to horrendous crimes (e.g., millions of abortions). And, when CINO politicians and wimmin preests openly and obstinately reject the legitimate authority of the Church, we should recognize that their defiance deserves a swift, measured, concerted, sustained and intense response proportionate to their actions and attitude, if not for their sake then the sake of all faithful Catholics.

    Excommunicate errant public officials; reach out to them in private, ever calling them back. Leave the door open for them to repent; give them a wise penance. Celebrate their return.

  17. Tony Sidaway says:

    Nancy Pelosi was unequivocally right on this matter. Spot on, and moreover the majority of Catholics in polls seem to agree with her view on abortion.

    To summarize it: there are a lot of people trying to rewrite history. Nancy has caught them at it and they’re brazening it out.

  18. mpm says:


    The Church has never conditioned the teaching that abortion is gravely evil,
    on the outcome of the question of when the fetus is a person. Linking the two
    in order to justify dissent from the Church’s moral teaching IS a modern novelty.

    On the other hand, Catholic thinkers have speculated all these centuries about
    when the fetus is a person for many reasons. The speculation is no longer
    necessary because both metaphysics (act/potency) and modern biology have settled
    the matter.

    BTW, your blog quotes “Congregation of the Doctrines of the Faithful”. If you
    are referring to the Vatican Congregation, the actual name is the “Congregation
    for the Doctrine of the Faith”.

  19. Tony S: Ridiculous, as we here and others have already show.

  20. Fr. Angel says:

    Tony Sidaway:

    The majority of the Catholics in Austria, over 90%, felt that it was best if Austria was run by Hitler and the Nazis. That did not make their position correct.

    Like Pelosi, you are on the right side of politically correct but the wrong side of history’s final judgment. If Catholic history teaches us anything, it is that when you are firmly on the side of politically correct, you are likely on the side that history will later condemn for not having moral backbone and integrity of the faith.

    The U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice who decided the Dred Scott case was also politically correct but is now an embarassment to Catholics who remember his definition that blacks were not human but property. So, even if you can find Catholic teachers in history who believed in the liceity of abortion, you and they are wrong when judged against the criterion of the entire Catholic Tradition.

    Even Dorothy Day, who herself had an abortion, and who worked with countless women caught in the trials of unwanted pregnancy, in the light of her faith and love, judged the act to be evil and immoral. She was a woman, a Catholic, a poor person, and a prophet of justice, and her testimony contradicts you and Pelosi. I am inclined to believe that she is the better judge of what is truly Catholic and of God.

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