Bishops with… wherewithal!… back up Archbp. Cordileone and can 915


Since I am traveling it is hard for me to update the list of bishops who have issued supportive statements about what Archbp. Cordileone did.   Perhaps a reader or two might keep an eye and provide in the combox an updated list, which I could copy up to the top post?


CNA has a piece which lists the bishops with … wherewithal! to back up Archbp. Cordileone’s proper application of can. 915 for the sake of soul of Nancy Pelosi and for the further  avoidance of public scandal.

Who are these MEN who have stood up with Archbp. C?  (One of them surprised me.)

Diocese of Oakland – Bp. Barber

Diocese of Santa Rosa – Bp. Vasa

Archdiocese of Denver – Archbp. Aquila

Diocese of Springfield – Bp. Paprocki

Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas – Archbp. Naumann

Diocese of Lincoln – Bp. Conley

Archdiocese of Oklahoma City – Archbp. Coakley

Diocese of Tyler – Bp. Strickland

Diocese of Spokane – Bp. Daly

Diocese of Green Bay – Bp. Ricken

Diocese of Madison – Bp. Hying


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Rob83 says:

    12 is a good start, may there be an epidemic of courage among the bishops (I hear that it is contagious).

  2. Bthompson says:

    I don’t know if you want to keep the list running/expanding, but:

    Doocese of Baker, Oregon — Bishop Liam Cary

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    It’s great to have 11, Jesus did a lot with that number.
    Thank you to these faithful bishops. When it counted, YOU were there willing to stand up to it all. I would like to remember their names, because they know they put themselves at risk of at least criticism and shunning, and they spoke up anyway. We get it, we see how it is. That’s courage. Their actions make a statement about who they are and what they care about. A lack of a public statement of support for Abp. Cordileone is revealing as well. That’s all bishops except these 11. Abp. Cordileone has his own special category from now on, being the one willing to go it alone in order to do what was necessary. What a glorious thing to defend Jesus Christ as a bishop when it will cost you. God will reward them for it, and for whatever it’s worth, the people do see it.

  4. aviva meriam says:

    Praying for them.
    Hopeful more will find the wherewithal to support Archbishop Cordileone

  5. lonniemassey says:

    Our bishop in Fort Worth also offered prayers and support:

  6. Archlaic says:

    Bishop Tobin of Providence – a.k.a. ‘The Good Tobin’: “Archbishop Cordileone has written a thoughtful, well-reasoned and compassionate letter that accurately reflects the teaching and the law of the Church. I fully support the Archbishop’s statement.”

  7. Can/will this list go on to enumerate other bishops emeritus as well? Because I’m sure that there have to be at least just as many, if not more, solid but retired bishops out there. In my diocese at least, there are two who are just as, if not more, outspoken in their support.

  8. aam says:

    When Jesus selected the 12 Apostles, one of them betrayed Him. 1 ÷ 12 = 8.33%. Seems like that percentage has gone up markedly with time.

  9. matt from az says:

    We appear to have a starting line up and a few relievers in the bullpen. This is a team.

    I admire these bishops for publicly supporting Archbishop Cordileone. They know they are now marked men. Civil and Church authorities will seek any excuse to shame, humiliate, and possibly depose them from their sees.

    Where are the rest?

  10. Gaetano says:

    So out of 251 active U.S. bishops, less than 5% (4.87%) have spoken in support. That’s just a hair better than that garnered by Sts. Athanasius and John Fisher.

  11. excalibur says:

    Pelosi has thrown down the gauntlet and has received communion. She needs to be publicly excommunicated.

  12. teomatteo says:

    I wonder why some do not join such a list.? Example, Bishop Sample. He must have a good reason for not putting his name out there. I do know that my bishop isn’t listed but he did the same move with our governor some years ago. So just because they are not on the list doesn’t mean that they are not acting along the same lines.

  13. Senor Quixana says:

    There will be plenty of gnashing of teeth among US cardinals over this, though public dissent seems unlikely. Cordeileone got it right and it seems likely that most bishops will agree, but will be discrete in doing so. That, perhaps, is the flaw in Cordileone’s action. It is quite public and not discrete. Nothing like this seems pastoral when it happens so out in the open. That lends credence to allegations that it is a political move. A good, public smackdown rouses some folks but I am dubious it does anything for the salvation of souls.

  14. Fr. John says:

    Question as an Orthodox visitor. I’ve seen numerous news articles saying that Speaker Pelosi is now unable to receive communion in San Francisco, implying or directly saying that she could receive it elsewhere, as if Arch. Cordileone’s prohibition only applies in his own diocese. Is that true, or is that just the media not understanding Church discipline?

    I know in Orthodoxy, discipline imposed by a priest or bishop on their parishioner still holds if the person travels and other clergy are expected to respect that. I’m assuming that’s true in Roman Catholicism as well, right?

  15. JonPatrick says:

    In regard to @SenorQuixana’s post above, I think that in the case of scandal, where someone is publicly flouting Church teaching possibly leading to confusion among the faithful as to whether the Church really means what it says about serious sins such as abortion, a public statement is necessary. That way even if the person refuses to change their ways, at least the Church has gone on record, so to speak. This is an act of charity, both toward the sinner to get them to change their ways before it is too late, and to the faithful to provide clarity.

  16. hilltop says:

    Reported this morning that Madame Speaker took communion at Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown on Sunday.
    Holy Trinity is a “Jesuit-Catholic” Church.
    Ol Nancy knows the best places to shop.

  17. Sonshine135 says:

    Am I the only one concerned that this has become a honey pot to ferret out real Catholics? I have always known a day would come where Bishops were going to have to take a stand. I suppose Pelosi can be the hill to die on, but I’ve also wondered why any Priest or Bishop would give communion to a known supporter of abortion- no matter their wealth or status.

  18. hwriggles4 says:

    Kudos to Bishop Barber from Oakland. He is part of a breed of Good Jesuits (I think readers will understand – Fr. Mitch Pacwa is also a Good Jesuit) and I am proud that he is a CAPT in the USNR.

  19. TonyO says:

    @ Fr. John above:

    While Archbishop Cordileone cited Canon 915 to take the action of formally informing his priests (and others, i.e. extraordinary ministers of Communion) that they are not to administer the Eucharist to Pelosi, Canon 916 also comes into play: a person who is conscious of grave sin is not to present herself to receive the Eucharist until they confess. This canon applies to the lay person herself, i.e. it does not “get enforced” by the minister. Technically, Pelosi should be excluding herself from Communion wherever she goes, until she confesses the sins that caused Cordileone to invoke 915 – and makes that publicly manifest, for that’s the only thing that can begin to repair the scandal involved.

    Cordileone’s instruction to his priests & ministers in San Fran only has direct force within his own diocese, it does not (of itself) canonically land on priests of other diocese, directly, that is. However, Canon 915 obliges a priest or extraordinary minister to not administer the Eucharist to a manifest and obstinate grave sinner, and the formulation of that Canon DOES NOT REQUIRE that the bishop first tell you that “X is a person who is manifestly an obstinate grave sinner”. If it is manifest, it is manifest – i.e. apparent, it does not need the local bishop to explicitly declare it, if the sinner travels to a new diocese. The fact that Cordileone has now told his diocese, and this has been publicized, means that no other priest (regardless of which diocese he is in), if he has heard the news, can fail to be aware of the problem, and this means that each such priest (again, regardless of which diocese) should be following 915 to deny Pelosi Communion. Should be.

    Heaven help any bishop or cardinal in the US who attempts to tell his priests to NOT go along with Cordileone on this in respect of Pelosi – who tries to tell his priests to give her Communion if she presents herself. For, the bishop would seem to be, in effect, telling his priests NOT to obey Canon 915. I am no canon lawyer, but I don’t know that a bishop has that authority. Arguably a bishop might tell his diocese not to apply 915 to a specific politician who is a resident of his OWN diocese, for he has jurisdiction there and therefore has the authority to, say, tell his priests “this person is making strides toward the truth and cannot – yet – be considered to be ‘obstinate’ within the meaning of 915.” I don’t know if he has quite the same authority to say the same of a resident of a different diocese, whom he hasn’t the details on, to effectively override the finding of the bishop who has jurisdiction over that politician and who presumably DOES know the facts better.

  20. TonyO says:

    Three points: (1) we should add Pelosi to our prayers – she obviously needs it.

    (2) We should be very cautious about assuming anything about bishops who have not come out and said anything supporting Cordileone on this. By and large, there is no particular reason a bishop NEEDS to make a public statement on this, unless he thinks Pelosi is planning to travel significantly within his own diocese and he should be alerting his own priests how to deal with her. On the other hand, any and every bishop should (a) be supportive of any and every bishop who takes Canon Law seriously, and canon 915 in particular, and (b) should already have been telling his own priests and ministers how to handle politicians and others who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin – including denying them Communion. If he has been doing the latter, he doesn’t need to publicly say it again just because Cordileone has added a new public figure to the list of problem persons.

    (3) Regarding the courage it takes for a bishop to publicly stand with Cordileone: It shouldn’t take much. Any bishop can simply say (if asked, by Rome for example) “I was just being collegial, you know, not making waves, united front and all that.” Furthermore, any bishop who is nearing retirement (say, age 72 or above), if he has not been tapped for an archbishop’s had by now, can be pretty confident he isn’t ever going to be, and this means that he has risen as high as he can, and effectively there is nothing Rome will do about him even if Rome doesn’t like his speaking out. At the worst, Rome is just going to wait until he submits his resignation at age 75, and accept it with alacrity. So? That’s no punishment really. And since (given the way the Church is managed) there should be a goodly number of bishops age 72 to 74 (at my quick count, 38) – and that doesn’t even begin to count the number of bishops age 75 and older who have NOTHING riding on their decision to join with Cordileone publicly if they wish – there are a lot of bishops who could easily speak out without it taking much courage to speak of.

  21. majuscule says:

    Archbishop Cordileone sent a longer letter to the priests of the archdiocese in which he pointed out the times he has tried to speak to Nancy Pelosi. He finally told her in early April that she should not receive communion until she repented. He said if she did not, he would be releasing a public statement. Which he did when she did not reply or publicly amend her ways.

    From those who are mentioning that he could have been more discrete I would be interested in hearing their suggestions. (I am asking out of genuine curiosity, I am not trying to be adversarial!)

    For those who didn’t see the link above to the letter to priests, here it is again:

  22. pcg says:

    Of course Pelosi went to Holy Trinity- I attended Mass there once… and shook the dust from my sandals on the way out- Old Joe goes there too. I think the devil could probably receive at that church-

  23. Senor Quixana says:

    With respect to our friend @majuscale wondering how to handle a matter like this more discretely, it seems reasonable to wonder why the archdiocese decided to draw such attention to it. A letter to Pelosi and notification to the ordinary and extraordinary ministers of holy communion would have sufficed. Giving those letters wider distribution to the point of publishing them on the archdiocesan website is certainly not required to give effect to the decision. Word would have gotten out, but a “no comment” from the Speaker’s office and a statement from Cordileone saying “we do not discuss sensitive pastoral matters” when approached for comment wouldt have made this rather less than the event it is.a

    As to matters on “scandal,” let us be honest. No faithful Catholic is in doubt of the church’s stance on abortion and any Catholic who does not know just does not care what the church says. It is not like there is some failure of catechesis on this issue. It is likely there are more people who know we oppose abortion than who know we worship a triune God.

    It is easy to argue this was long overdue and I would not take up the gauntlet on that point, There is nothing new

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