In an open letter to Pelosi on Friday (May 20), Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone informed Pelosi that "should you not publically [sic] repudiate your advocacy for abortion 'rights' or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."
The California Democrat struck back Tuesday on MSNBC, stating she "respect[s] people's views … but I don't respect us foisting it onto others."
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C.J. Doyle, executive director of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts, tells AFN this isn't some theological debate about, for example, how often a Catholic should go to confession.
"Nobody's trying to impose any religion here," he offers. "This is a question of common morality, whether or not it's morally defensible to kill an innocent human being."
And as for the archbishop, Doyle says while Cordileone deserves the respect and admiration of all faithful Catholics, "it remains to be seen if his fortitude will be emulated by the Catholic hierarchy in Massachusetts."
Austin Ruse, president of the Center for Family & Human Rights and a founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, says the House Speaker is cherry-picking issues to fight for.
"I suspect that Nancy Pelosi would have no compunction of imposing her view of the death penalty on others," he offers. "So, she's picking and choosing what she wants to oppose and what she wants to believe in."
Ruse contends Archbishop Cordileone not only has the right but the responsibility to restrict Pelosi from communion.
"God bless him for finally stepping forward and doing the right thing with regard to her; I wish others would do it," he says, echoing Doyle's hope. "But her flight is not with him – her fight is with the teachings of the church."
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, says Pelosi is "at war" with the Catholic Church.
"There is not a single Church teaching on women, marriage, the family or sexuality that Pelosi accepts, so out of touch is she with the Catholic Church," Donohue says in a press release. "There are atheists who agree more with the Church on these issues than she does."
Donohue also accuses the California Democrat of having the "audacity" to say she's against imposing her views on others – then proceeds to offer some examples of her doing exactly what she says she opposes:
"She tried to force her pro-abortion views down the throats of the Little Sisters of the Poor, mandating that they pay for abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare plans. She is a strong proponent of the Equality Act and other measures that would impose her radical pro-abortion views on Catholic doctors and hospitals. She would also coerce Catholic doctors to perform immoral surgeries against their will."