Pelosi vs. Cordileone isn’t only about abortion.

It’s about women and bishops.

The list of reasons Catholic women stopped listening to bishops is a long one.

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In October 2021, Pope Francis initiated a two-year “Synod on Synodality,” aimed at finding out what Catholics and others think about the church. He may get more than he asked for.

Preliminary results indicate one thing: Women are fed up. They like Francis well enough, but they are not much interested in what bishops and priests have to say.

Why?

The latest kerfuffle between San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is at the tip of a very big iceberg.

Pelosi’s perceived support of legalized abortion at the federal level collides with Catholic teaching. Hairsplitters who support her will argue that she does not support or promote or procure abortions, she simply supports current American law and works to preserve it.

Hairsplitters on Cordileone’s side will argue that because Pelosi is perceived to be, as they say, “pro-abortion,” she creates public scandal and therefore must be denied access to the Catholic sacrament of Communion. They say the Code of Canon Law trumps U.S. law.

But Pelosi and Cordileone’s battle may be seen more broadly as one battle in a decades-long disintegration of trust between women and the bishops.

Some say it all started with Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” which ignored the recommendation of his own Pontifical Commission on Birth Control. Eight years after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved the first oral contraceptive pill, the pope took some 7,000 words to say “no” to contraceptive measures beyond what came to be known as “natural family planning.”

Catholic women in the United States and around the world ignored the pope’s decision. You didn’t have to track sales of “the pill” to realize what was going on. Jokes about the size of Catholic families suddenly became a gauzy memory. Women were clearly listening to the opinions of the men in the pulpit, then returning to their homes to manage their private matters as they saw fit.

Once women began to bypass church teaching on birth control, they found other reasons to ignore the bishops. At the top of that list are clerical sex abuse and the subsequent episcopal cover-up. But there is also the question of allowing women to be active participants in Masses, and the ordination of women.

The 1983 Code of Canon Law decreed any layperson could perform the duties of lector and acolyte, or altar server. It took another decade before the Vatican agreed that “any layperson” included women. To this day, many bishops around the world want women kept away from the altar, despite Francis’ updates to the law that allow women to be formally installed as lectors and acolytes.

Ordaining women as priests is not a discussion the hierarchy is going to have, but ordaining women as deacons is a distinct question. Women were ordained as deacons in the early church. No matter: The naysayers connect the two orders, saying because women priests are definitively forbidden, so also are women deacons. (They overlook the fact that their logic fails. If the two orders are so connected, then the historical fact of ordained women deacons may be used to argue for women priests.)

The arguments over ordination, altar servers, lectors and birth control are all debatable, however. The definitive nature of church teaching on abortion is clear.

But all the same, for a bishop to make a public event out of a private discussion is unseemly. Before she was elected to Congress, Pelosi had five children — after the FDA approved the birth control pill. She is proud of her Catholic heritage.

Pelosi is the most powerful Democrat in the Congress. Would Cordileone, or any other bishop, prefer a non-Catholic? Or is the problem that Pelosi is female?

Complete Article HERE!

Pelosi challenges archbishop’s denial of Communion over abortion rights

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday questioned whether a San Francisco archbishop who said he would deny her Communion over abortion rights was using a double standard by allowing politicians who support the death penalty to receive the sacrament.

“I wonder about the death penalty, which I’m opposed to. So is the church, but they take no actions against people who may not share their view,” Pelosi said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

On Friday, the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, the Catholic Church’s archbishop in San Francisco, said Pelosi would be denied Communion because of her vocal support for abortion rights, a stunning rebuke of one of the nation’s most senior practicing Catholic politicians, who often evokes her faith when discussing her family and politics.

“After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone said Friday in a letter to members of his archdiocese.

“I have accordingly sent her a Notification to this effect, which I have now made public,” he added.

Cordileone, one of the country’s most conservative Catholic leaders, last year called for Communion to be withheld from public figures who support abortion rights but did not mention Pelosi by name at the time. In November, U.S. Catholic bishops backed away from a direct confrontation with President Biden, the second Catholic president, over his support for abortion rights and the sacrament of Communion. They approved a document on the Eucharist that did not mention any politicians or the president.

In the MSNBC interview, Pelosi challenged the notion of imposing her personal views on abortion on others and highlighted Cordileone’s pronouncements on other issues, such as gay rights.

“We just have to be prayerful, we have to be respectful. I come from a largely pro-life Italian American Catholic family, so I respect people’s views about that, but I don’t respect us foisting it onto others,” she said. “Now our archbishop has been vehemently against LGBTQ rights. He led the way in some of the issues, an initiative on the ballot in California. So this decision … is very dangerous in the lives of so many of the American people. They’re not consistent with the Gospel of Matthew.”

Democrats and abortion rights advocates have responded with alarm in recent weeks after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the right to abortion established in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Holy Communion is the central sacrament of Catholicism and the centerpiece of the Catholic Mass — a ritual memorial of Christ’s death on the cross in which bread and wine are said to be transformed into his flesh and blood.

Catholic archbishops have vast power within their diocese, and a reversal of Cordileone’s decision would require the intervention of the Vatican, which is unlikely. The order to deny Communion to Pelosi applies only to Catholic churches within the San Francisco archdiocese under Cordileone’s purview, including the speaker’s home church.

Last September, Pope Francis said the decision about granting Communion to politicians who support abortion rights should be made from a pastoral point of view, not a political one. He told reporters: “I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone,” while adding that he has never knowingly encountered during Communion a politician who backs abortion rights. Francis, however, reiterated that abortion is “murder.”

According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released earlier this month, 55 percent of Catholics in the United States want the Supreme Court to uphold Roe. Catholic teaching opposes abortion, however, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last year debated the meaning of Communion and whether it is appropriate to withhold the sacrament from Catholic politicians, such as Pelosi or Biden, who support abortion rights.< After a firestorm of debate, the bishops clarified that there will be “no national policy on withholding Communion from politicians.” They later released a document on Communion but declined to single out politicians who back abortion rights.

After Cordileone last year condemned a bill codifying the constitutional protections of Roe v. Wade into federal law as an “atrocity” and “nothing short of child sacrifice,” Pelosi acknowledged a “disagreement” with the prelate.

“I believe that God has given us a free will to honor our responsibilities,” she said, before again talking about her own family.

“For us, it was a complete and total blessing, which we enjoy every day of our lives,” Pelosi added. “But it’s none of our business how other people choose the size and timing of their families.”

Complete Article HERE!

LGBTQ Catholic Organization Blasts Archbishop for Denying Nancy Pelosi Communion

Archbishop’s edict denying key sacrament was issued in response to Pelosi’s views on abortion access.

(Left) Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone – (Right) Nancy Pelosi

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DignityUSA, the LGBTQ-affirming organization representing U.S. Catholics who support full inclusion, denounced San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s decision to deny Communion to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion rights.

Cordileone, who last year called for Communion to be withheld from pro-abortion public figures without mentioning specific names, issued his edict on Friday, specifically rebuking the 82-year-old Democratic House Speaker for her longstanding support of reproductive rights, including access to birth control and abortion.

“After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone said in a letter to members of his archdiocese.

The archbishop’s edict drops at a time when Democrats, facing a difficult midterm election, have sought to rally their base by warning of the loss of access to abortion should the GOP regain control of Congress. That move comes on the heels of a leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that appears to signal that the nation’s highest court is poised to overturn the nearly five-decades-old decision in Roe v. Wade, which established the right to obtain an abortion. By overturning Roe, abortion access would be determined by individual state laws, making it illegal in several states but potentially legal in neighboring ones.

But DignityUSA argues that Pelosi should not be penalized for defending the right to obtain an abortion, particularly since polling indicates a majority of rank-and-file Catholics do not support overturning the Roe decision, regardless of their personal views on abortion rights.

“DignityUSA firmly believes that the sacraments of our church should never be weaponized against Catholics, no matter their identity, beliefs, or public stances,” Marianne Duddy-Burke, the organization’s executive director, said in a statement. “Communion is a gift to help us grow in grace, not a reward for compliance.

“It is wrong for Speaker Pelosi to be denied Communion for striving to serve the people of this diverse nation,” Duddy-Burke continued. “We call on Archbishop Cordileone to withdraw this ban, and for Catholics across the country to stand against attempts to use Communion to coerce the violation of anyone’s sincerely held beliefs.”

In November 2021, DignityUSA lead the “Bread Not Stones” witness at the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which sought to sway bishops from issuing barring Catholics, including President Joe Biden, from receiving Communion for holding opinions on political or public policy matters that run counter to the Church’s views on abortion, homosexuality, and same-sex marriage, among others.

The bishops ultimately rejected an explicit ban, instead issuing guidelines for practicing Catholics to consider when receiving Communion — relying on individuals’ ability to examine their actions and their consciences, rather than a top-down edict.

Madeline Marlett, the co-chair of DignityUSA’s Young Adult group, who volunteered as an altar server for Archbishop Cordileone for several years, praised Pelosi for standing up for her political beliefs and criticized Cordileone for seeking to punish and ultimately force her into compliance with his preferred worldview.

“We call for this injustice to be righted and will continue to hold Speaker Pelosi in prayer as she faces the unjust weaponizing of this core sacrament of Catholicism,” Marlett said in a statement.

“Withholding Communion from any Catholic pushes them to the margins of our Church,” Duddy-Burke added. “It shames them by encouraging people to speculate about why they are unworthy of approaching the sacred table. It violates the duty of care that is the central ministry of the ordained. It is simply wrong.

“Speaker Pelosi holds the same view on abortion that the majority of U.S. Catholics share. Nearly two-thirds of Catholics do not want Roe v. Wade overturned. Denying her Communion is a clear attempt to intimidate Catholics. It will not work. It will simply disgust and alienate Catholics and widen the growing gap between church leaders and members,” she said. “The majority of U.S. bishops seem to understand this, based on their rejection of the kind of ban Archbishop Cordileone has announced. We call on Catholics to speak out against the weaponization of Communion.”

Complete Article HERE!

Too Much Church in the State

Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

By Maureen Dowd

During her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Amy Coney Barrett tried to reassure Democrats who were leery of her role as a “handmaid” in a Christian group called “People of Praise.”

The group has a male-dominated hierarchy and a rigid view of sexuality reflecting conservative gender norms and rejecting openly gay men and women. Men, the group’s decision makers, “headed” their wives.

Justice Barrett said then that she would not impose her personal beliefs on the country. “Judges can’t just wake up one day and say ‘I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion’ — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” she said amicably. “It’s not the law of Amy. It’s the law of the American people.”

Yet that’s what seems to be coming. Like a royal queen, she will impose her will on the world. It will be the law of Amy. And Sam. And Clarence. And Neil. And Brett.

It’s outrageous that five or six people in lifelong unaccountable jobs are about to impose their personal views on the rest of the country. While they will certainly provide the legal casuistry for their opinion, let’s not be played for fools: The Supreme Court’s impending repeal of Roe will be owed to more than judicial argumentation. There are prior worldviews at work in this upheaval.

As a Catholic whose father lived through the Irish Catholics “need not apply” era, I’m happy to see Catholics do well in the world. There is an astonishing preponderance of Catholics on the Supreme Court — six out of the nine justices, and a seventh, Neil Gorsuch, was raised as a Catholic and went to the same Jesuit boys’ high school in a Maryland suburb that Brett Kavanaugh and my nephews did, Georgetown Prep.

My father was furious that Catholic presidential candidates Al Smith and J.F.K. had to defend themselves against scurrilous charges that, if they got to the White House, they would take their orders from the pope.

One must tread carefully here. A Catholic signed on to the Roe v. Wade decision and another was in the court majority that upheld it in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a Catholic, has expressed support for Roe, and Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative Catholic, may be working for a compromise decision that can uphold Roe.

Still, this Catholic feels an intense disquiet that Catholic doctrine may be shaping (or misshaping) the freedom and the future of millions of women, and men. There is a corona of religious fervor around the court, a churchly ethos that threatens to turn our whole country upside down.

I come from a family that hews to the Catholic dictates on abortion, and I respect the views of my relatives. But it’s hard for me to watch the church trying to control women’s sexuality after a shocking number of its own priests sexually assaulted children and teenagers for decades, and got recycled into other parishes, as the church covered up the whole scandal. It is also hard to see the church couch its anti-abortion position in the context of caring for women when it continues to keep women in subservient roles in the church.

Religiosity is a subject some Catholics on the court have been more open about in recent years.

Last year, at Thomas Aquinas College in California, Justice Samuel Alito fretted that there was growing cultural hostility toward Christianity and Catholicism. “There is a real movement to suppress the expression of anything that opposes the secular orthodoxy,” he said. Precisely which belief or practice of his religion does he feel he has been denied?

President Biden is a Catholic who is uncomfortable with the issue of abortion despite his support for Roe. Still, when Barrett was a law professor at Notre Dame, a group she belonged to unanimously denounced the university’s decision to honor Biden even though he didn’t support the church’s position on abortion.

We have no one in the public arena like Mario Cuomo, who respected the multiplicity of values in an open society and had the guts to wade into the lion’s den at Notre Dame in 1984.

“The Catholic who holds political office in a pluralistic democracy — who is elected to serve Jews and Muslims, atheists and Protestants, as well as Catholics — bears special responsibility,” Cuomo said. “He or she undertakes to help create conditions under which all can live with a maximum of dignity and with a reasonable degree of freedom; where everyone who chooses may hold beliefs different from specifically Catholic ones — sometimes contradictory to them; where the laws protect people’s right to divorce, to use birth control and even to choose abortion.”

The explosive nature of Alito’s draft opinion on Roe has brought to the fore how radical the majority on the court is, willing to make women fit with their zealous worldview — a view most Americans reject. It has also shown how radical Republicans are; although after pushing for this result for decades, because it made a good political weapon, they are now pretending it’s no big deal. We will all have to live with the catastrophic results of their zealotry.

Complete Article HERE!