CNS' Holy War Against Nancy Pelosi
The uber-Catholics who run CNSNews.com despise Pelosi so much, they've declared her insufficiently Catholic, similar to their attacks on President Biden -- and have even attacked her for advocating prayer.
By Terry Krepel
An anonymous CNS writer seemed upset with Pelosi in a January article in which she "expressed her view that pro-life Catholic and Evangelical voters had been responsible for electing Donald Trump president in 2016 after responding to Trump’s 'dog whistle' about Supreme Court justices." The anonymous writer didn't dispute that but instead got nitpicky by noting that Brett Kavanaugh wasn't originally on the list of judges Trump said he would appoint.
CNS also trotted out the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, where Pelosi is from, to attack Pelosi:
CNS also got mad that Pelosi had opinions about her faith and how she practices it. Craig Bannister complained in a May 14 article that "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who supports legalized abortion, said at her press briefing on Thursday that she can use her "own judgement" on whether to take Holy Communion at a Catholic Mass," adding that "she was “pleased” with a recent letter on the subject of pro-abortion Catholic politicians receiving communion the Vatican sent to U.S. bishops" urging them against a blanket refusal to Communion to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights. (The May 17 Chapman article was in response to this.)
CNS even takes stealth potshots at Pelosi over her support for abortion rights. An anonymously written Jan. 22 article noted that Pelosi issued a statement "celebrating the 48th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that declared abortion a constitutionally protected right" -- while including an undated file photo of Pelosi holding a baby. An anonymous June 21 article noting that Pelosi "put out a statement on Sunday to mark World Refugee Day and note that every 'precious life torn apart by violence and catastrophe is a tragedy'" is illustrated with the same photo.
The uber-Catholics at CNS tried -- and failed -- to own the Catholic Pelosi on a discussion about her religion. From an anonymously written April 2020 article:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said on PBS “NewsHour” on Tuesday that she had an “Epiphany” on Easter that told her she “must call out the truth” on the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of that Epiphany she has been criticizing President Donald Trump.
CNS is rather clumsily arguing that Pelosi can't keep her religious holiday straight and rather stupidly claiming that one cannot possibly have an epiphany on Easter and that epiphany has only a religious meaning. The holy day of Epiphany describes the revelation of baby Jesus as divine to the Magi, something that might actually be more accurately described as a theophany.
While the dictionary offers a religious definition of epiphany, it also offers a non-religious one as well "a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience."
In other words, it's possible and permissible to have an epiphany on Easter. And, thus, CNS' attempt to own Pelosi utterly fails.
The prayer war
In 2018, CNS published a mocking column by John Horvat II sneering at her call to pray for Dreamers, huffing that Pelosi "calls herself Catholic" and accusing her of having "politicized" her call to prayer. Last October, Susan Jones mocked her again under the headline "Pelosi, After Provoking Trump, Urges Prayers for His 'Health'," blaming her and Democrats for "deliberately provok[ing]" Trump (and , of course, not Trump for being so lacking in self-control that he allowed himself to be provoked).
After touting in February 2020 how Trump lashed out at Pelosi for allegedly "say[ing] I pray for you when they know that that's not so," CNS spent the next several months being fascinated by Pelosi's various calls to prayer:
It's unclear what CNS wants its readers to take away from its fixation on Pelosi and prayer. Its uber-Catholic editors like Terry Jeffrey and Michael W. Chapman have never respected the way Pelosi conducts her Catholic faith, so they obviously don't believe her calls to prayer are sincere. So why promote them at all, except as a sort of backhanded acknowledgment that even the despised Pelosi believes in prayer?
That would certainly conflict with the multi-pronged war against her at CNS, though -- which may be why it stopped highlighting them after the November 2020 election.
CNS helps Pelosi's bishop attack her
CNS ramped up its holy war by serving as a stenographer to the archbishop of her San Francisco diocese, dutifully repeating his partisan attacks on her. Editor Terry Jeffrey wrote in a July 23 article:
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, whose archdiocese includes all of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district, issued a statement on Thursday rebuking Pelosi for a statement she made at her press briefing that day explaining why she is pushing for federal funding of abortion.
An anonymously written Aug. 6 article hyped Cordileone's attacks again under the headline "Pelosi’s Archbishop Smacks Her Again for Supporting Tax-Funded Abortion: ‘Catholics Stand for Human Life’":
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, who presides over the archdiocese where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) lives, sent out a tweet on Sunday of a story in LifeNews.com that was headlined: “Nancy Pelosi Blocks Vote on Bill to Ban Taxpayer-Funded Abortions for the 55th Time.”
A Sept. 6 article -- also anonymously written -- started to sound repetitious in parroting Cordileone again:
Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, the diocese where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) resides, published a commentary in the Washington Post on Sunday stating that you cannot be a good Catholic and support the killing of unborn children through abortion.
CNS cranked up the biased attacks with a pair of Oct. 18 articles, both by managing editor Michael W. Chapman. The first hyped an anti-Pelosi prayer campaign the archbishop was promoting:
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has repeatedly implored pro-abortion Catholic politicians, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), to accept the pro-life teaching of the Church, recently called on all Catholics to say some special prayers (and fast) every Friday for Pelosi to have a conversion of heart.
The second promoted Cordileone saying that "While discussing his prayer and fasting for the conversion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi," he called abortion a "Satanic practice."
This being a highly biased right-wing "news" outlet, CNS gave Pelosi no opportunity to respond to Cordileone's attacks. It did, however, publish a Sept. 23 article by Craig Bannister featuring Pelosi responding to the bishop:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she and San Francisco’s archbishop “have a disagreement about who should decide this,” when a reporter asked her to react to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s declaration that her abortion bill constitutes “child sacrifice.”
Bannister featured several other anti-Pelosi quotes from Cordileone, even though none of the Cordileone-promoting articles permitted a response from Pelosi.
CNS' mission statement states that it will "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." It has failed to do so yet again.
Pelosi says she's Catholic, CNS pounces
CNS hates Pelosi so much, it also takes offense when Pelosi merely describes herself in public as a Catholic -- it doesn't outright attack her for it, but the fact that CNS publishes an article seemingly every time she does so is evidence enough -- that and the fact that all these articles are written anonymously, credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff." Apparently, no CNS reporter wants their name associated with these petty attacks.
A July 22 article carried the weirdly teasing headline "Pelosi on Funding Abortion: ‘As a Devout Catholic and Mother of Five in Six Years, I Feel That God...’":
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said at her press briefing today that funding abortion with federal tax dollars is a matter of “fairness and justice” and cited her faith as a “devout Catholic” to explain why.
A Sept. 23 article whined that Pelosi "said at her weekly press briefing on Thursday that she is Catholic and comes “from a pro-life family,” but that her family is “different in their view of a woman’s right to choose than I am.” The anonymous writer made sure to include a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops declaring it "especially shameful that any self-professed Catholic would be implicated in such an evil, let alone advocate for it."
Pelosi faced another anonymous complaint in a Sept. 24 article:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) gave a speech on the House floor today talking about her status as a “Catholic mother” before the chamber voted to approve the Women’s Health Protection Actwhich guarantees a nation-wide right to abortion on demand.
There was more whining in an Oct. 4 article:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) said at her press briefing on Thursday that she and Sen. Joe Manchin (D.-W.V.) are “Italian Americans” and “Catholics” who “have shared values.”
One writer who was willing to put his name on his Pelosi-hate was CNS' favorite dishonest Catholic, Bill Donohue, who spent a July 22 column complaining that Pelosi called herself a "devout Catholic":
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines "devout" as meaning "believing strongly in a religion and obeying all its rules or principles." Pelosi does not obey the teachings of the Catholic Church on many key public policy issues.
Donohue did not explain who gave him the authority to judge the religious faith of other people.
Pelosi as murderer
CNSNews.com believes that Nancy Pelosi is a murderer. Why? Even though she has never had an abortion, let alone performed one,she doesn't support prohibiting other people from getting one. And that, in the twisted and hateful minds at CNS, is no different from murder. Take this Sept. 28 column from anti-abortion activist Judie Brown, under the screeching headline "Grandma Death":
She has five children and nine grandchildren, but her real devotion is to the practice of killing babies before they are born. Who is this woman? Her name is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and her game is murder.
Brown, apparently, has been infected with the sin of shamelessness and not with the virtue of moderation and reason.
Not to be outdone, CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey had his own hateful invective to sling at Pelosi in his Oct. 13 column:
During the first four years that Nancy Pelosi served as speaker of the House (2007 through 2010), approximately 4,676,300 unborn babies were aborted in the United States, according to estimates published by the Guttmacher Institute.
Weird, we remember being lectured by right-wingers that people were not allowed to call Kyle Rittenhouse a "murderer" because that is a legal term that one must be convicted of in a court of law for it to accurately apply. If Brown and Jeffrey want to call Pelosi -- or any woman who chooses to have an abortion -- a murderer, they should charge her with murder in a court of law, then amass the evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to make that case.
This, of course, is not a a serious philosophical argument but a partisan one; Brown and Jeffrey see that Pelosi has power so she must be destroyed by any means possible, including maliciously false claims of "murder."
The wrong Bible
CNS has even lashed out at Pelosi for quoting the Bible. This happened in an anonymously written Oct. 21 article:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) participated in a press event on the “Build Back Better Act” in front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, where she quoted from the Gospel of Matthew.
The funny thing about this attack is that the article's link on "Gospel of Matthew" is to a an online King James Version of the Bible. But the Catholic Church does not use the King James Version, which was commissioned by, yes, King James for use in the Church of England -- which was created by King Henry VIII out of the Catholic Church so he could divorce Catherine of Aragon after he was unable to receive an annulment of the marriage in the Catholic Church -- and omits certain books from the Old Testament that Catholics recognize but Protestants don't. Catholic Masses use a different version, the New American Bible.
CNS did the same thing in an Oct. 18 article, in which an anonymous writer stated that Pelosi "quoted from the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins from the Gospel of Matthew at a press event focused on public housing that she held in San Francisco on Friday with San Francisco Mayor London Breed." But the article's links on the "Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins" and the "Gospel of Matthew" go to an online edition of the New King James Version of the Bible.
You'd think the uber-Catholics who run CNS would know enough to not make such a basic theological mistake. Apparently not.