Archbp. Cordileone to Nancy Pelosi: No Catholic Can Dissent from Church Teaching on Abortion

Abortion Absolutist Democrat

Canon 915!

From CNS:

SF Archbishop on Pelosi: No Catholic Can Dissent from Church Teaching on Abortion

( – Responding to statements made by House Minority Leader Nancy [the Theologian] Pelosi [more HERE] — who would not say at her press briefing last week if a 20-week-old unborn child is a “human being”–Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said that it is a “scientific fact that human life begins at conception” and that “no Catholic can dissent in good conscience” from Church teaching on the sanctity of life.

[…] asked Archbishop Cordileone about Pelosi’s comments on human life, particularly in light her self-description “as a Catholic and a mom of five.”

“It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception,” the archbishop said in a written statement to “This has been established in medical science for over 100 years. Catholic moral teaching acknowledges this scientific fact, and has always affirmed the grave moral evil of taking an innocent human life.

“This has been the consistent teaching of the Church from the very beginning, a teaching already discernible in the natural moral law, and so a teaching from which no Catholic can dissent in good conscience,” he said.

It is the obligation of pastors of souls to reach out to their people who have difficulty understanding and accepting such important teachings of the Church in order to extend to them true pastoral care and, where appropriate, to establish a regular dialogue,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “This is something I have always striven to do in the various ministries I have exercised as a priest and bishop, including now as the Archbishop of San Francisco. I ask for people’s prayers for success as I continue to strive to do this.”

Pelosi lives in Cordileone’s archdiocese and represents San Francisco in Congress.

At her Jan. 22 press conference at the Capitol, twice asked Pelosi whether an unborn child 20 weeks into pregnancy is a human being.

Pelosi would not answer the yes-no question with a yes-no answer, but did say that a woman has “the right” to abort her child.

“The fact is is what we have said: The life and the health of the mother is what is preeminent in when a decision is made about a woman’s reproductive health,” said Pelosi, after declining for the second time to say if an unborn child at 20 weeks is a human being. “It isn’t an ideological fight, it is a personal health issue.



During the press conference, Pelosi made clear that she is opposed to both the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.

The former would prohibit the abortion of babies 20 weeks or later into gestation unless they were conceived in rape or incest, or if the life of the mother was at risk. The latter prohibits federal funding of abortion and stops federal Obamacare subsidies from going to insurance plans that cover abortion while not preventing people in subsidized Obamacare plans from buying supplemental abortion coverage–with their own money.

Canon 915!

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  1. Boniface says:

    The clock is ticking.

  2. Sieber says:

    A few years ago Ms. Pelosi had a much vaunted audience with then Pope Benedict XVI.
    I believe he allowed no photos. Upon her return to Washington, a reporter asked Ms. Pelosi if she had discussed abortion with the Pope. She replied, “he shared his point of view…”

  3. Jon says:

    Unfortunately, the liberal ear hears an out with “in good conscience,” viewing their conscience as “good,” malformed or not.

    The Archbishop would’ve spoken more effectively and in even a language Pelosi couldn’t quibble had he said, “…from which no Catholic can dissent, PERIOD.”

  4. acardnal says:

    She may come from the land of Dead Heads, but she’s certainly no Zed Head!

  5. Fr Francis says:

    Pope Francis on abortion: Evangelii Gaudium

    213. Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right….

    214. Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.

  6. Fr Francis says:

    The Second Vatican Council on abortion and contraception.
    (“On the Church in the Modern World: Gaudium et Spes n. 51)

    “From the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes………..

    Sons of the Church may not undertake methods of birth control which are found blameworthy by the teaching authority of the Church in its unfolding of the divine law.(14)”

    (14). Cf. Pius XI, encyclical letter Casti Connubii: AAS 22 (1930): Denz.-Schoen. 3716-3718, Pius XII, Allocutio Conventui Unionis Italicae inter Obstetrices, Oct. 29, 1951: AAS 43 (1951), pp. 835-854, Paul VI, Address to a group of cardinals, June 23 1964: AAS 56 (1964), pp. 581-589. Certain questions which need further and more careful investigation have been handed over, at the command of the Supreme Pontiff, to a commission for the study of population, family, and births, in order that, after it fulfills its function, the Supreme Pontiff may pass judgment. With the doctrine of the magisterium in this state, this holy synod does not intend to propose immediately concrete solutions.

  7. JSII says:

    Is their an honest reason why these politicians do not incur excommunicate and anathema? ( I threw anathema in there in honor of St. Thomas Becket) ha ha…

  8. chantgirl says:

    I would like to see Catholics refer to “fertilization until natural death” instead of “conception until natural death”. Some people are moving the goalposts, using “conception” to mean the embryo implanting in the womb instead of the moment in which the egg and sperm fuses. This allows them to argue that the pill does not cause abortions.

  9. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    I hope the good archbishop has already begun a private exchange with Mrs. Pelosi. At some point fairly soon it will have to go public, because her defiance of Church teaching has been public.

    We could start saying “fertilization” instead of “conception,” but those people would only start claiming that fertilization means implantation. When you are intellectually dishonest, it’s not hard to come up with an answer to everything.

  10. chantgirl says:

    Grateful- I am thinking of ACOG. This memo on Emergency contraception and IUDs uses implantation as the benchmark for when a pregnancy begins.

  11. It’s only a matter of time before one of these politicians breaks the patience of a bishop, archbishop, or cardinal. As Boniface said, the clock is ticking. I just don’t see how they will get free passes forever. As Pope Francis said, “you cannot provoke…” These people persist in provoking, and eventually they will get a response. The wait may test the patience of those of us in the pews, but eventually it will come to a head.

  12. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    Mary, Mother of God, please pray for Archbishop Cordileone.

    Having used to live in San Francisco, CA, I can tell you that being in charge of a Diocese that can only be described as “Sodom and Gomorrah by the Bay” (On a good day…), he REALLY needs our prayers.

  13. I live in the archdiocese and have to say: just get it over with! Tell her and every priest of the archdiocese that she has excommunicated herself. Hasn’t this fiasco gone on long enough?

  14. gramma10 says:

    She is just one of thousands of Catholic’s who do not know their faith.
    She is quite arrogant and very confused and will be held accountable one day especially due to her high visibility and public profile.
    Maybe she will become a female modern St. Paul?
    I wish that the bishop and she would just go have coffee and be friends so he can share true Catholic teaching.

    I love Albert Schweitzer’s quotes…..
    “Ethics alone consists in this, that I experience the necessity of practicing the same reverence for life toward all will-to-live, as toward my own.”
    “The fundamental principle of morality is that good consists in maintaining, promoting, and enhancing life, and that destroying, injuring, and limiting life are evil.”

    We must pray for her conversion.

  15. The Masked Chicken says:

    Archbp. Cordileone is fighting the good fight, however, I have a minor quibble. He wrote:

    ““It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception,” the archbishop said in a written statement to “This has been established in medical science for over 100 years. Catholic moral teaching acknowledges this scientific fact, and has always affirmed the grave moral evil of taking an innocent human life.”

    100 years ago they had no idea about DNA in any clear fashion. The first X-ray crystallographic study was done in 1937. DNA was proposed as being the hereditary molecule in 1927 and received experimental confirmation in 1928, 1943, and 1952. Watson and Crick discovered the double Helix in 1953 (Linus Pauling had proposed a single helix a little before that). They had not fully understood the developmental stages of the human embryo either in 1915, with remnants of vitalism remaining (although epigenesis was well on the way to replacing it) . He give no citation for the, “fact,” that medical science established that human life began at conception 100 years ago. He would have been much closer had he said 80 years (we knew about DNA at that point, just not its structure). The Church could not have agreed with medical science 100 years ago, because the science was woefully inadequate. If the Lambeth Conference in the 1930s had occured during the 1970’s. the Anglicans would never have take the step of allowing contraception. It was, in part, the incomplete medical knowledge of the time that allowed this.

    I think the Church has not actually defined when the soul enters the body, but has stated that the teleology is definitely human and, since we cannot know when the soul enters the body, we must err on the side of caution and assume that every human, from the moment of conception is a human in body and soul. I stand to be corrected on this.

    The Catechism is a little vague on the timeline of human development, simply saying that human life must be respected from conception, not that it begins at conception. Of course, modern studies since 1960 make this abundantly clear, especially knowing that DNA is destiny in terms of teleology. I just don’t like using inaccurate scientific history to support a conclusion that can be supported much more strongly in other ways.

    I would have told Pelosi, point blank, that having human DNA is enough to require protection of the organism, since Christ makes it plain that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and anything that is going to become a temple of God has to be treated with dignity.

    The Chicken

  16. Latin Mass Type says:

    Archbishop Cordileone is a supporter of the Extraordinary Form. Not a showy supporter but a firm one. I prayed that we would get an archbishop like him when he became Bishop of the Oakland Diocese and we got him, not just someone like him. I pray for him every single day.

    His homily at the recent West Coast Walk for Life spoke directly to the young people in the prolife generation. See it here.

  17. Matthew Gaul says:

    “It’s only a matter of time before one of these politicians breaks the patience of a bishop, archbishop, or cardinal.”

    Andrew Saucci, I pray you are right, but I doubt it. Even if one has courage, too many others in the hierarchy would pounce on him a la The Lord of the Flies.

    I can’t imagine that so many ecclesiatical consciences are so numb to the Pelosis of the world. It must be known that the severest of overt and covert retributions will be had, should a hierarch step out of line.

    At best, I would imagine a hero bishop could expect little support from the hierarchy during the dionysian feeding frenzy of rage that the offended parties could launch, with the power of the state on their side.

    Things may turn around after the next persecution, whenever that may be, of course barring God’s good pleasure to the contrary.

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  19. iamlucky13 says:

    “‘The fact is is what we have said: The life and the health of the mother is what is preeminent in when a decision is made about a woman’s reproductive health,’ said Pelosi, after declining for the second time to say if an unborn child at 20 weeks is a human being. ‘It isn’t an ideological fight, it is a personal health issue.’

    Looking past the health of the unborn child, the way I read this, Pelosi seems to be conceding she has no argument in favor of abortion if the health of the mother is not in danger.

    If she were intellectually honest, the only discussion we’d be having with her now is why even concerns over the health of the mother do not justify deliberate abortion, and delving into the question of what the principal of double effect may or may not allow.

  20. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Although his words were true, Abp. Cordileone’s remarks are nothing to cheer about, because he still doesn’t get it: Giving Communion to Nancy Pelosi and other abortion enthusiasts IS A MORTAL SIN.

    I notice other commenters talking about the bishops’ possibly “losing patience.”

    It isn’t a matter of patience. Giving Nancy Pelosi Communion IS A MORTAL SIN. It has been a mortal sin for decades, and it will remain a mortal sin until she repents. There is no such thing as a “grace period” during which it is okay to commit mortal sins.

    More than any other bishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl has emitted smokescreen after smokescreen on this issue. In order to pretend that he has discretion in the matter, he has pretended that Denial of Communion is a “penalty.” He has claimed (falsely) that the “domicile” of pro-abortion officials is relevant. (“They are not part of my flock.”) He has claimed that giving Communion to pro-aborts is “pastoral.” Committing mortal sin is never “pastoral.”

    The obligation to deny Communion, when it is mandated by Canon 915, falls on the pastor of a congregation. No bishop has the authority to direct a pastor to disobey Canon 915. A bishop has the obligation to remind pastors of their obligation to obey Canon 915.

    Cardinals Wuerl, Dolan, and O’Malley are all on record, repeatedly: They refuse to obey Canon 915. Archbishops Chaput, Cupich, Gomez, and many others, are similarly on record. The entire bishops’ conference voted, in 2004 (in “Catholics in Political Life”), to give themselves the option of committing the mortal sin of giving Communion to pro-abortion people. They said that a bishop may “legitimately” commit this mortal sin.

    Archbishop Cordileone’s response to Nancy Pelosi does not give any indication that he understands, yet, that denial of Communion is not an “option” or a “tool” available to him. It is a strict, grave obligation. It is an obligation he has not yet publicly acknowledged.

  21. Legisperitus says:

    The science is settled, Nancy.

  22. Charles E Flynn says:

    If the testimony regarding the apparitions ?at Lourdescan be believed, then the question of when human life begins has been answered by the identification provided by a two-thousand-year-old young woman. The matter cannot be resolved by scientific inquiry as understood by Sir Karl Popper, because there is no way to subject the human soul to scientific experiments, with their conjectures and refutations.

  23. visigrad says:

    Archbishop Cordileone is a courageous man. He has been on the front line battling the gay agenda. Rather than criticize…pray for him, support and encourage him to fight this fight in the same forthright manner as he has with the gay agenda.

  24. AVL says:

    I wonder if this is leading up to a showdown between Nancy and the Archbishop. He seems very firm about it, and if she resides in his Diocese then might he have the ability and wherewithal to deny her Holy Communion? I hope he will, to show people that the Eucharist means something very important, and that those who claim to be Catholic must be held to a certain standard of conduct. For example, that they cannot go around furthering the cause of baby murder!

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  26. benedetta says:

    What scientific and rational evidence does Rep. Nancy Pelosi present to establish her position and the assumptions that under gird her legislative policies and advocacy, namely, that at conception a new human life is not present?

  27. Uxixu says:

    I am glad to hear the Archbishop’s comments. I pray he’ll observe canon 915 though. These individuals need to be informed of their error and told they will be not be admitted. This is as old as St. Ambrose and the Emperor Theodosius…

  28. Giuseppe says:

    Thank you Father Fitzpatrick. I was not aware that it was a mortal sin for the priest to give communion in this circumstance. I knew that receiving communion in this circumstance was a mortal sin, but your perspective as a priest is helpful. There are 2 sins in giving communion in violation of C.915.

  29. Dienekes says:

    If bishops can not and will not act on something so egregious (we are talking life and death and damnation here, are we not?) then in God’s name, what would they act on?

    Perhaps Clint Eastwood’s empty chair skit pertains to bishops as well.

  30. arbogene says:

    It seems it is only a matter of time until the “de facto schism” among Catholics becomes formal. As I recall, St. Pope John Paul II in “Crossing the Threshold of Hope” (not a magisterial document of course) intimated that he, as Pope and Bishop of Rome, did not want to be the initiating instrument of the formal schism by publicly declaring the excommunication of heterodox bishops, priests, politicians, et al., certain that many similarly heterodox Catholics would more than likely follow their politicians down the road of perdition and schism than listen to the Bishop of Rome. He indicated his position was a lesson learned from the Church’s (mis)handling of the Protestant Reformation(?). It seems the bishops of the world, even the good ones as Archbishop Cordileone, have taken this pastoral position in dealing with the Pelosi’s of the political world. Holy Spirit, enlighten us!

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