CNSNews.com was already engaging in a new round of attacks on Nancy Pelosi for failing to impose her Catholic faith on the entire country by agitating for abortion bans when it got an assist from her San Francisco bishop, who felt the need to insert himself into this political issue. Craig Bannister cheered in a May 20 article:
Because of her steadfast and outspoken opposition to Church teaching on abortion, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been banned from receiving Holy Communion, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone announced Friday.
“After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi 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 she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” Archbishop Cordileone tweeted, linking to a copy of an open "letter to the faithful" on the archdiocese website.
According to the letter, Pelosi is banned from 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,” the archbishop writes. “I have accordingly sent her a Notification to this effect, which I have now made public.”
CNS was so giddy about this development that it plastered its front page that day with all the anti-abortion attacks it had published on Pelosi and President Biden over the past few months:
An anonymously written article the next day quoted Cordileone claiming that he wanted to “help her understand that it is unacceptable to kill babies in the womb," adding: "I know people will accuse me of being political, but this is not political at all. It’s pastoral."As much as we hate to accuse a Catholic priest of lying, he's clearly lying here -- he has very deliberately inserted himself into a political debate with an action he knows will give him positive attention in certain political circles (witness the above work on CNS' front page). There's simply no plausible way for him to deny being political.
The attacks on Pelosi continued. For a May 23 article, Bannister dug up a 19-year-old interview in which Pelosi claimed she "would rather have been a priest because priests have more power" (which Bannister doesn't refute). The next day, Susan Jones complained that Pelosi called out Cordileone's hypocrisy in sanctioning her on abortion while ignoring other Catholics who don't follow church teaching on other political issues (which also went unrefuted):
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who often professes her Catholic faith, nevertheless supports a woman's right to abort a baby. Last week, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco publicly announced that Pelosi should not take Holy Communion until she repudiates her support for abortion.
Pelosi responded Tuesday morning, telling MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that the archbishop also opposes the death penalty and LGBTQ rights, but he does not deny Holy Communion to people who don't share those views.
She also suggested that many pro-life advocates reject the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus instructs his followers to "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
CNS went on to cheer that other Catholic bishops were getting on the denial bandwagon:
- Texas Catholic Bishop to Pelosi: No Communion Here, Stop 'Advocating the Murder of Children'
- Bishop With Jurisdiction Over Pelosi’s Napa Vineyard Joins Cordileone in Barring Her From Communion
- Many U.S. Catholic Bishops Back Cordelione's Decision to Bar Pelosi From Communion
Even though that last article claimed "many" bishops support Cordelione, writer Janey Olohan lists only eight -- a tiny number given that there are 196 bishop-run dioceses, archdioceses and other units in the U.S.
And, of course, the usual uber-Catholic suspects felt the need to weigh in, led by dishonest Catholic Bill Donohue:
- He huffed on May 23 that Pelosi "has been begging for a confrontation with him for many years. Now she has succeeded." He then gushed over Cordileone: Over the past decade, Archbishop Cordileone has demonstrated great prudence and patience in dealing with Pelosi. He is a man of courage and goodwill, and a loyal son of the Catholic Church."
- Donohue ranted in a May 24 column that Pelosi "is at war with the Catholic Church," adding: "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. There are atheists who agree more with the Church on these issues than she does."
- Donohue's June 8 column was devoted to Pelosi's responses to criticisms of various bishops and others, again huffing, "There is no Catholic politician who has a record of openly defying the Catholic Church on the issues of women, marriage, the family, and sexuality worse than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi."
Anti-abortion obsessive CNS editor Terry Jeffrey used his May 25 column to bash Pelosi, starting with rehashing a gotcha question a CNS reporter asked her in 2015. After a lot of lecturing, Jeffrey declared that "Archbishop Cordileone did the right thing. Now, Speaker Pelosi should do the right thing and join the pro-life cause." Like his other writers, Jeffrey didn't refute Pelosi pointing out Cordileone's hypocrisy in sanctioning her but ignoring others who violate church teachings on other issues.