US Bishops who have responded about Speaker Pelosi’s remarks

The American Papist has been keeping and undated list of US Bishops who have issued statements about remarks made by Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Meet The Press

Speaker Pelosi effectively said that the Church does say when human life begins and, even if we knew, it shouldn’t make a difference in the free choice of abortion.

We need some unity amongst bloggers to keep us all up to date on what is going on.  We need to educate people about the issues.

Speaker Pelosi made scandalous statements on a grand scale, on one of the most important TV interview programs in the world.  The consequences must be public.

Here is the complete list of American bishops who have responded to Nancy Pelosi’s comments so far:

   1.      Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver was the first American bishop to respond
   2.      Bishop James Conley, his auxiliary, joined him
   3.      Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington DC responded twice, first in a press release and second in a statement to The Hill. He has also appeared on Fox News, I am told.
   4.      Cardinal Justin Regali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued this statement through the USCCB website…
   5.      Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, joined him
   6.      Cardinal Edward Egan of New York publised a strongly worded statement of his own
   7.      Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo issued a letter correcting Pelosi’s claims
   8.      Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh
   9.      Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs have chimed-in
  10.      Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio, CNA reports has added his voice …
  11.     Bishop Oscar Cantu, his auxiliary bishop, has joined him
  12.      Bishop William Murphy of Rockville has published an extensive letter
  13.      Bishop Edward Slatter of Tulsa adds himself to the list
  14.      Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas has joined the USCCB’s efforts
  15.      Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin is on-board
  16.      Bishop James Slattery of Tulsa has a detailed response
  17.      Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston mentions the USCCB on his blog
  18.      Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando has written at length
  19.      Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul/Minneapolis challenges Pelosi’s statement
  20.      Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the US Bishops, has weighed-in
  21.      Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, OR publishes in the Catholic Sentinel
  22.      Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse, WI responds in a word document
  23.      Bishop Joseph Gossman of Raleigh, N C responds to the misrepresentation
  24.      Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, OH will comment in his September 5th column (PDF)
  25.      Bishop Ralph Nickless of Sioux City, IA has one of the very best responses I’ve read
  26.      Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco has invited Pelosi to a "conversation"

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. God Bless our Bishops for standing up and teaching the Truth! Now if only they’d do this a bit more often…It’s a step in the right direction.

  2. Fr W says:

    Thanks for the on-going list. I hope to make use of this ‘unity of bishop’s voices’ in a homily for Respect Life Sunday.

  3. Fr. T says:

    Please add to the list the Bishop of the Diocese of Lake Charles, His Excellency The Most Reverend Glen John Provost. He wrote an article on the local newspaper “The American Press” on Sunday, August 31st, as a response to the Nancy Pelosi controversy. The title of the article was “Catholic Church Clear on When Human Life Begins.” It was on the Sunday Talk section of the paper.

    Here’s a link to the article:

    Thank you.

  4. Former Altar Boy says:

    Hmmmm….notable absences from Bishops Brom (San Diego), Brown (Orange), and Mahoney (Los Angeles). Isn’t it odd that these three dioceses also have a dearth of men entering their seminaries each year.

  5. Alan says:

    Its great that Wuerl decided to take the correct stand this time. I was upset with his major television interview before B16’s visit where he said he wouldnt deny communion to people like Pelosi. Can we expect him to change that opinion as well. I wont hold my breath. Sorry for the sarcasm, but its as painful to say as it is to hear. He should know better.

  6. David says:

    23. Bishop Joseph Gossman of Raleigh, N C responds to the misrepresentation???

    Bishop Gossman is emeritus. The current bishop, Michael Burbidge, maybe? Of course, Bishop Gossman is more than welcome to add his two cents!

  7. Warren says:

    Yes, Father Z., “(t)he consequences must be public.” For far too long our errant sister has proffered misinformation, half truths and outright lies and has, by association and her enthusiastic promotion of pro-abortion legislation while opposing pro-life legislation, been complicit with the abortion industry in the deaths of millions of children and the destruction of women’s lives. Pelosi’s most recent antics are the clearest indication of not only the self deception in which the personally-opposed-but-pro-choice “Catholics” are engaged, but also the deception they have imposed on an entire nation. A full court press is indeed in order: sustained counter argument in blogs and Catholic newspapers; official censure (pro-death politicians barred from Holy Communion, or more appropriately excommunicated). Anyone claiming to be Catholic yet publicly promotes culture of death activity should be held fully accountable. Biden, the mayor San Francisco… call them what they are: wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  8. Quanta Cura says:

    Bp. John T. Steinbock, diocese of Fresno California silent as usual.

  9. kathryn says:

    Father Z,

    I believe that numbers 13 and 16 on your list are the same: Bishop Edward James Slattery of Tulsa. [Again, it is not my list.]

    My bishop, not surprisingly, is nowhere to be seen or heard.

  10. Bob K. says:

    Father Z. Are we going to keep on harping about Pelosi’s remarks. Or can we move on here and start talking about something else, preferably about spirituality or mysticism or something. [You can do anything it pleases you to do, on your blog! o{]:¬) ]

  11. Jake says:

    Bob: This issue in general, exacerbated by Speaker Pelosi’s remarks, does affect spirituality, mysticism, etc. in so much as there’s a general lack of it overall. This attitude by public figures claiming to represent the best interests of the Church has been prevalent for way too long, and the more we discuss it in forums such as these, hopefully the message will come across that spirituality and mysticism, etc. won’t be judged at face value.

    I find it troubling that you would rather push this issue aside and discuss other things. This is just one face of a multi-faceted problem among American Catholics. I feel that this issue, given Fr. Z’s recent mullings on finding a new purpose for this blog, is one way to keep things going. Maybe it shouldn’t be “What Does The Prayer Really Say”, but more “What Does The Church Really Say”.

  12. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    “What Does the Church Really Say?” Wonderful. I second that. I can assure you, we don’t often hear what the Church really teaches in my suburban Boston parish. (America magazine has taken the place of scripture.)

  13. Jim says:

    No word yet from +Daniel Walsh, Bishop of Santa Rosa (just north of SF)??? The diocesan website never changes.

  14. Jane Fulthorpe says:

    Bob K:

    I disagree with you. It’s important to know which bishops are speaking out. Particularly for people abroad who are pro-life and want to know and understand what’s going on in US. Fr. S’s readers aren’t all Americans you know. He’s doing a great job on this issue, better than most of our UK media, I can assure you.

    Please keep at it Father.

  15. Jane Fulthorpe says:

    Bishop Slattery:

    There’s only one I think. Would ’twere two! Please can anyone give me a link to his detailed response? In the meantime I’ll look on the East Oklahoma Diocese site.


  16. Larry says:

    The Speaker’s outrageous remarks demanded a response from the bishops and thank God they have delivered. Furthermore this incident has awakened even in the secular media a great deal of intelligent reflection on the subject of life and when it begins and on the Church’s constant teaching. The Speaker has given us a wonderful opportunity to evangelize and may have provided the means for her own conversion or so we pray. Her bishop is doing the right thing. Let us pray for him that his conversation will have redeeming effects.

    On the other thread; I’d rather have an apostate Catholic who is strongly Pro-Life than a “Catholic” who will hold the abortionists coat and stuff money in his pocket.

  17. Robert Badger says:

    When I was a seminarian in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ major seminary, I remember very well Bishop Weigand in Sacramento informing then-Gov. Gray Davis that he was not to present himself to receive Holy Communion. Despite this command from his diocesan bishop, Cardinal Mahony gave communion to Gray Davis anyway.

    I was present at an ordination Mass where the hosts used tasted quite sweet, as if they had honey in them. The Cardinal didn’t have any problem in using them nor in refusing to give communion on the tongue to seminarians who desired to receive in the traditional manner.

    Bishop Brown of Orange is a Mahony protege, so we shouldn’t expect any statements from him. Nor should we expect any statements from Cardinal Mahony, either.

  18. Archbishop Pilarczyk encouraged pastors in the Archdiocese to include the statement from the USCCB in their weekly bulletins.

  19. Maynardus says:

    “17. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston mentions the USCCB on his blog”

    If that sounds like damning with faint praise I hope it was intentional. This is what passes for Catholic teaching, sanctifying and governing in the Archdiocese of Boston. Five limp paragraphs in “Cardinal Sean’s Blog” acknowledging Archbishop Chaput’s and Cardinal Rigali’s (USCCB) statements. The sum total of “Cardinal Sean’s” own commentary consists of two sentences:

    “It was very unfortunate Speaker Pelosi was misinterpreting what Catholic teaching is on abortion. From the very first generation of Christians, abortion has always been considered a very serious sin and a violation of human life.”

    How “unfortunate”. “Misinterpret[ed]. From the 1st generation of “Christians”. “Very serious”.

    Take heed, the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston has spoken. Sinners firmly admonished, the doubtful wisely counseled, and the ignorant duly instructed. Be still my heart.

    Cardinal O’Malley presides invisibly over the slow and agonizing going-out-of-business-sale of an archdiocese in ruins. One political party (Madame Speaker’s) is in firm control of the state and a majority of its officeholders are apostate Catholics. Sens. E.M. Kennedy and J.F. Kerry wield national influence in both political and cultural realms and claim to be Catholics “in good standing” despite vocal and unflagging support for unrestricted and publicly-funded abortion. Who is to contradict them?

    Their archbishop? Perhaps he’s too busy. In place of pastoral letters or official statements he tends his little blog like a garden full of exquisite flora. Thus he can lavish nearly thirty paragraphs – and even more photos – on a chatty description of his recent visit to his former diocese (U.S. Virgin Islands). Edifying stuff, this, including multiple pictures of his episcopal arms on the Cathedral facade and comments like “When I arrived, he was the only diocesan priest there…so I made him a monsignor!”

    (Like Mrs. Pelosi he seems to occasionally confuse the Pope’s prerogatives with his own!)

    But on the matter of Madame Speaker’s remarks… a couple of links buried in a blog post blandly entitled “Beginning a new year at our seminaries” must suffice. Nothing in the archdiocesan newspaper, no statement or press release from the Chancery, er, “Pastoral Center”.

    But I’m grateful he could find the time.

  20. Jane Fulthorpe says:

    Sorry Fr. It seems I’ve prematurely canonised you several posts ago.

    Mea maxima culpa.


  21. Gerry Scheid says:

    Should similar attention be giving to such politicians who say they are pro life ‘catholics’ but are supporting Obama?

    Washington, DC ( — Sen. Bob Casey is one of just two Democrats in the Senate who take a pro-life position on abortion, but the Pennsylvania lawmaker has drawn significant criticism for endorsing Barack Obama. On Wednesday, the Catholic legislator defended the endorsement and claimed Obama isn’t pro-abortion.

    Obama has voted repeatedly in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions and opposes the partial-birth abortion ban and efforts to make sure parents are notified about their teenage daughters’ abortions.

    Casey is not only willing to overlook those votes that counter his pro-life views, but has gone as far as taping a television commercial backing his Illinois colleague.

    “Some might characterize it that way, but I don’t think it is” a pro-abortion vote or position, he told CNS News of his Obama endorsement. “I have a long (pro-life) record, and it’s a lot harder for me. It’s much easier to be a Republican and have that position.”

    “We have a definitive and certain disagreement on abortion,” Casey told the conservative news web site. “I’m pro-life. (Obama) is pro-choice. I have supported legislation to outlaw partial-birth abortion. He doesn’t agree with that.”

    CNS News asked Casey how supporting a pro-abortion presidential candidate squares with his Catholic faith and Casey responded that he backs Obama because of other political issues.

    “I think it’s possible in the next term of the president that they will directly or indirectly confront the issue of abortion, but they may not,” Casey said. “But I’m certain that they will confront the issues – what are we going to do about the war, what about a $10 trillion debt, what about health care, the recession?

    “You need to try to elect someone who you think can deal with a whole set of broad-based challenges,” Casey added.

  22. BobP says:

    It’s too bad none of these bishops were around when and before Roe vs Wade became the law of the land. That’s when the Republicans ran the show and now pretend to be the pro-life party. And I wouldn’t throw too many stones at Senator Biden. Without him and some other Democrats who took political risks, Clarence Thomas wouldn’t be in office today.

  23. mom in baltimore says:

    Pelosi and her family are originally from Baltimore and she has strong roots in these parts. I was hoping our Archbishop O’Brien of Baltimore, which is the oldest archdiocese in the US, would be so bold as to issue a STRONG and CLEAR statement in our weekly Catholic Review newspaper. No such luck. In the most recent issue, he gave his understanding of how the Catholic Church has been confused over life issues during the last several decades and included reference to Humanae Vitae. I had to read the column twice to make sure I understood his point. I guess not all church leaders find it necessary to be bold with their leadership, but it is disappointing anyways.

  24. CK says:

    A refresher course for Bishops:
    Today’s 1st Reading and Gospel! Timely!

  25. Lindsay says:

    *And I wouldn’t throw too many stones at Senator Biden. *

    Honestly, I have no idea how influential he was in getting Thomas into office. I’ve heard different sides, but I must admit I haven’t done the research for myself.

    However, it is this kind of view that I think blurs the issues and has Biden’s own bishop saying things like “I have no plans to politicize the Eucharist.”

    It shouldn’t be a political issue–it only becomes political because it is generally true that Republicans are pro-life and Democrats are pro-choice.

    BUT, regardless of how much I love Clarence Thomas or whether Biden played a roll in his appointment, etc… really has no bearing on the scandal and sacrilege that results in his receiving communion. Republican public figures who are obviously out of communion with the Church should be treated the same way–there just don’t happen to be as many of them given the party’s platform.

    My belief that Biden should be told not to receive communion has nothing to do with how much I like him or whether I agree with him on other issues.

  26. Michael says:

    The number is relatively small. What about others ?

  27. Jordanes says:

    Michael said: The number is relatively small.

    Compared to previous years, though, the number is remarkably large. Things are definitely changing for the better.

    This morning at Mass we heard a fine homily that drew up the lection from Ezekiel and the Gospel pericope to expound upon our obligation as Catholics to believe what the Church teaches, to explai it to others, and the grave responsibility the Church has to excommunicate those who reject the Church’s teaching: and Father mentioned the Speaker Pelosi situation.

  28. I believe Sen. Biden played a major role in the resistance to Justice Thomas and was a key player in the borking of Robert Bork. He also actively opposed Justices Roberts and Alito.

  29. The Brooklyn Tablet has a fine piece by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and an equally fine editorial on the question of abortion and the misrepresenattion of the Church’s position by House Speaker Pelosi in this weeks issue.

    The links are:

  30. Bill Meyer says:

    A disturbing silence: Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, former president of the USCCB. Were it his only significant silence, it would be less disturbing.

  31. An American Mother says:

    At least Abp. Gregory posted the USCCB statement on the front page of the Archdiocesan website.

    What else has he been silent about? (inquiring minds want to know.)

  32. Joseph says:

    I feel a little funny defending Cardinal Mahony, as I am not a fan, not by a long shot, generally speaking, of his administration as archbishop. Still, in the name of fairness, in the early days of Operation Rescue, he was there, on the street in the early AM at least one “rescue” and seemed to have be in solidarity with its aims. Though perhaps not putting both feet in, he nonetheless (tacitly?) allowed churches to be used for rallying points.

  33. TJM says:

    BobP, please don’t engage in revisionist history. Father Z quite correctly points out that alleged Catholic, Joe Biden, has been
    a stumbling block to any judicial appointee, who might just help get Roe v Wade reversed. Yes, he’s a “faithful” Catholic all right. Tom

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