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Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson, M.Div. Responds to San Francisco Archbishop’s Attack on Speaker Pelosi

May 20, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 20, 2022
Contact: Ashley Wilson, Director of Communications & Strategy
Phone: 202-294-4081

Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson, M.Div. Responds to San Francisco
Archbishop’s Attack on Speaker Pelosi

WASHINGTON – Today, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone sent a letter to Catholic Speaker of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi, declaring “you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion, and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion” because of her support for abortion. This letter comes six months after intense debate by Catholic Bishops about whether pro-choice Catholic politicians who support abortion should be permitted to receive communion.

In response, Catholics for Choice President Jamie L. Manson, M.Div, released the following statement:

“Archbishop Cordileone is waging a culture war that the bishops have already retreated from.

“Last year, a core contingent of U.S. bishops launched an unholy crusade to prohibit President Biden and other pro-choice politicians from receiving communion. Thankfully, they backed down due to overwhelming pushback from a vast majority of Catholics from both sides of the political divide who let them know that abusing the power of our sacraments is unacceptable. But Archbishop Cordileone still won’t relent.

“Speaker Pelosi is devoted to her Catholic faith, and it is not lost on me that, as a woman, she is being singled out in this continued battle. It is one more step in a long line of attacks that the Church hierarchy has waged on women and their reproductive rights. It bears repeating that no woman has had any influence or voice in the development of any of church doctrines on sexuality or reproductive health. Cordileone might be coming after Speaker Pelosi now, but if he had his way, the Church hierarchy would come for all women who have pro-choice beliefs.

“Though Cordileone cites canon law in his letter to Speaker Pelosi, the truth is canon law has nothing to say about the subject of being a pro-choice Catholic. Bishops are expected to strive for unity in penal laws within cities and regions, because there should not be a great disparity in the church with regard to punishments. These penalties should show moderation and only be meted out for the most serious offenses. Cordileone’s action against the Speaker is extreme, and he has gone rogue among his confreres in the United States and in the global Catholic Church.

“We ask Archbishop Cordileone and those who share his crusade to listen to Pope Francis’ call to encounter. Remember that the pope himself, just six months ago, sat with Speaker Pelosi at this table, and he has said definitively that he has never denied communion to anyone.

“With one in four abortion patients identifying as Catholic, we know that people who have abortions participate in the life of the church. It’s time for our church leaders to stop stigmatizing and start listening to Catholics who are pro-choice. That is what Speaker Pelosi and the nearly 100 pro-choice Catholic members of Congress are doing.”

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.