As AFN previously reported, Salvatore Cordileone, Pelosi's bishop in San Francisco, sent a letter telling her not to present herself for Holy Communion because of her outspoken support for and promotion of abortion.
But this week in Rome, the Democratic House speaker attended the morning Mass marking the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul, during which Pope Francis bestowed the woolen pallium stole on newly consecrated archbishops. Pelosi was seated in a VIP diplomatic section of the basilica and received Communion along with the rest of the congregants, according to two people who witnessed the moment.
In doing so, Hugh Brown of the American Life League (ALL), the oldest grassroots Catholic pro-life education organization in the United States, says Pelosi "is intentionally spitting in the face of her bishop."
"I think what that shows is just extreme arrogance, I think a total lack of humility," he tells AFN. "It shows a lack of support from the Vatican's part to its shepherds, and that is just very indicative of the hour that we're in. We're in an hour of confusion, and we know that confusion comes from the devil, [and] it's intentional."
As for Pope Francis' role in the visit, Brown says sometimes people in leadership positions lean on their own understanding and clearly not on that of the Holy Spirit.
"The person who's in there now clearly has an agenda that is his own," Brown laments. "He's just not going to support his own shepherds when he views something political, which has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with salvation in the case of the Eucharist, sacrilege, preventing sacrilege, and creating scandal, and that's what was allowed."
He adds that it also flies in the face of Archbishop Cordileone, who was simply following the faith and Canon law.