CNS' Holy War Against Nancy Pelosi, Part 2
CNSNews.com cheered that Pelosi's Catholic bishop forbade her from receiving Communion for refusing to impose anti-abortion laws on the entire country, then got mad that she visited the Pope.
By Terry Krepel
One of CNSNews.com's favorite pastimes is to lash out at Nancy Pelosi for refusing to impose her Catholic faith on the entire country on the issue of abortion. And the leak of a draft opinion by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that would overturn Roe v. Wade gave CNS an excuse to bash Pelosi anew. And editor Terry Jeffrey did just that in his May 4 column:
Pelosi immediately released a statement condemning the court's apparent intention to overturn Roe and suggesting that aborting a child is part of "the fundamental human right to reproductive care."
Susan Jones complained in a May 9 article:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) devoted part of her Mother's Day to an interview with Margaret Brennan, host of CBS's "Face the Nation." The topic was abortion -- the leak of a draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade and send the issue back to the states to decide.
Jones further complained in a May 16 article that Pelosi said "the possible reversal of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling must be put 'in perspective.'" An anonymously written article later that same day rewrote Jones' piece to emphasize something else Pelosi said:
“And I say this as a practicing, devout Catholic: five children in six years and one week,” Pelosi went on to say. “I don't disrespect people's views and how they want to live their lives. But I don't think that it's up to the Donald Trump appointees on the Court or any politicians to make that decision for women.
CNS didn't explain why a single TV appearance by Pelosi warranted two articles when both said basically the same thing.
Bishop's Communion ban
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.
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.
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.
CNS went on to cheer that other Catholic bishops were getting on the denial bandwagon:
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:
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.
CNS' favorite Catholic priest who really wants to be a right-wing blogger, Michael Orsi, defended Cordileone in a May 31 column, insisting that "The archbishop’s action was not political. Rather, it was sacramental. And certainly it was his job," going on to grumble that "Pope Francis elevated Cordileone’s California colleague, San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy, to the rank of Cardinal. Cordileone was not so honored. He then complained that Pelosi "chose to hide behind a classic pro-abortion dodge, a variation on the old 'I’m personally opposed, but...” cliché,' adding that "I choose to pray that this misguided woman might come to understand the seriousness of her sin, and repent."
Meeting with the pope
When Pelosi went to the Vatican and met with Pope Francis, CNS had itself a little meltdown -- perhaps being a little jealous that she got to meet him and the more-Catholic-than-the-pope boys who run CNS have not.
It was foreshadowed in a June 16 article in which intern Janey Olohan was dispatched to Pelosi's weekly press conference to ask her a well-rehearsed right-wing gotcha question: "St. John Paul II said in Evangelium Vitae that abortion is murder. Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy for Life that abortion is 'truly murder.' Do you agree with St. John Paul II and Pope Francis that abortion is murder?" Pelosi knew better than to play along with a clearly biased reporter:
Pelosi replied: "What I agree on is that whatever I believe or agree with the popes on is not necessarily what public policy should be in the United States, as people make their own judgments, honor their own responsibilities, and tend to the needs of their families."
An anonymously written June 29 article reported on the visit and its purported hypocrisy:
Pope Francis met today at the Vatican with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) and her husband Paul Pelosi, just two days after the speaker had publicly declared her commitment to pushing Congress to enact legislation “to enshrine Roe v. Wade into the law of the land.”
Donohue vented his spleen in a column the same day, pretending to be aghast that Pelosi receive Communion at the Vatican:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who rejects the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion, marriage, and sexuality, received Holy Communion on June 29 at a papal Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. The pope was in attendance, but did not give out Communion.
Donohue didn't mention that a single bishop's denial of communion is not binding on other dioceses -- or that Pope Francis himself has specifically said not to deny Communion to or excommunicate anyone solely on the issue of abortion.
Another anonymously written article, on July 1, seemed miffed that Pelosi got even more quality time with the pope:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday visited the “Christian community” of Sant’Egidio in Rome after visiting the Vatican and told the people there that she had “had the pleasure of attending Mass this morning with His Holiness.”
The article somehow managed to avoid shoehorning in Pelosi's stance on abortion.
Anti-abortion activist Judie Brown raged at Pelosi in a July 5 column for refusing to force her faith on others, bizarrely calling her a "fraud" for not doing so:
Recently, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blew off her archbishop’s instruction that she refrain from receiving the body of Christ in the Eucharist with this response: “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.”
Brown concluded by screeching: "Insulting Christ is an abomination, Madam Speaker!"
An anonymously written July 18 article complained that Pelosi "delivered a statement on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Friday in which she noted that “Catholics for Choice” had joined in what Pelosi called the “mobilization” behind bills taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives to legalize abortion nationwide," going on to huff:
"Catholic for Choice” says: “We believe that reproductive freedom is Catholic social justice value.”
The anonymous writer made no apparent effort to contact Catholics for Choice for comment, nor was it explained why the group's name was repeatedly put in scare quotes.