The Pope meets Pelosi
The Pope continues to act in increasingly problematic and distressing ways.
This weekend he met Nancy Pelosi at the Vatican. Pelosi, for my non-American readers, is the 81 year old Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, a role she has held since 2019. The speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives and is simultaneously the House's presiding officer, de facto leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head. Speakers also perform various other administrative and procedural functions.
Pelosi, like President Joe Biden, makes much of her "devout" Catholic faith. It's a useful way to curry favour with like-minded voters. Pelosi is an ardent promoter of the LGBT ideology, she supports contraception and, most vocally, promotes abortion claiming it is completely consistent with her claims to be a devout Catholic.Pelosi voted against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and earlier attempts at similar bans, and voted against the criminalization of certain situations where a minor is transported across state lines for an abortion (HR 748, passed).
She has voted in favour of lifting the ban on privately funded abortions at overseas U.S. military facilities (HA 209, rejected); in favour of an amendment that would repeal a provision forbidding servicewomen and dependents from getting an abortion in overseas military hospitals (HA 722, rejected); and in favour of stripping the prohibition of funding for organizations working overseas that use their own funds to provide abortion services, or engage in advocacy related to abortion services (HA 997, rejected). She also voted in favor of the 1998 Abortion Funding Amendment, which would have allowed the use of district funds to promote abortion-related activities, but would have prohibited the use of federal funds.
In 2008, she was rebuked by Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., for being "incorrect" in comments she made to Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press concerning Church teaching on the subjects of abortion of when a human life begins. The archbishop's statement quoted Pelosi as saying the church has not been able to come with a definition of when life begins. During the interview she said, "over the history of the church, this [what constitutes the moment of conception] is an issue of controversy." In February 2009, Pelosi met with her bishop, Archbishop George Hugh Niederauer of San Francisco, and with Pope Benedict XVI regarding the controversy.
“A conversion of heart of the majority of our Congressional representatives is needed on this issue, beginning with the leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” the San Francisco archbishop said. “I am therefore inviting all Catholics to join in a massive and visible campaign of prayer and fasting for Speaker Pelosi: commit to praying one rosary a week and fasting on Fridays for her conversion of heart.”
Cordileone urged Catholics and people of goodwill to sign up for the “Rose and a rosary for Nancy Pelosi” campaign.
Phil Lawler draws attention to the clear message being communicated by the Pope here:
Even as Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was urging faithful Catholics to pray for the wayward Speaker, that she might have a “conversion of heart,” a smiling Pope Francis was greeting her at the apostolic palace, giving the world no indication that he is troubled by her outspoken promotion of abortion on demand.
Pope Francis said that he had never personally refused the Eucharist to anyone, adding that he was not aware of ever having been in the situation that the journalist who posed the question described: that of a pro-abortion politician coming to him for Communion. So that's clear then.
The Pope also told the story of a time when he inadvertently gave Communion to a Jewish woman at a retirement home who had approached the sacrament in ignorance.
The dubia cardinals couldn't get an audience. Cardinal Zen couldn't get an audience. But here's the Pope cosying up with a woman who has facilitated the murder of children up to birth.
When Pope Francis is grumpy with someone, you know it. Just think about his meeting with Donald Trump, the most pro-life President in history:
Lawler also draws attention to the timing of the meeting & recognises that the way this is being used to manipulate the US bishops - quite extraordinary that a politician would collude with the Pope to manipulate his bishops.The timing of Pelosi’s visit was not accidental. Oh, yes, she was attending a meeting of legislators in Rome. But have you seen any reports from that meeting? Any front-page photos, of the sort she collected at the Vatican? No; her business with the Holy See was more important than the international gathering.
In just a few weeks, the US bishops will meet in Baltimore, to discuss a statement on “Eucharistic coherence.” The most significant question about that statement is how it will handle the problem created by Catholic politicians like Pelosi and President Biden, who continue to claim that their advocacy for abortion can be reconciled with their professed Catholicism. Pelosi’s mission in Rome was to persuade American prelates that they should not take a forthright stand on that question. And let’s face it: the Vatican gave that mission an enormous boost.
Canon Lawyer J.D. Flynn also remarks on the obvious political dimension to the game Pope Francis is playing here. Writing in The Pillar, he states:"Pelosi’s trip — which included photo ops with Cardinal Peter Turkson and Pope Francis himself — will make difficult the ongoing effort of some bishops to call pro-choice Catholic politicians to conversion on abortion, and to respond with ecclesiastical discipline to Catholic lawmakers set on advancing legal protections for abortion in the U.S."
Flynn finds it difficult to see anything other than a clear and frankly cynical move by the Pope to undermine the efforts of US bishops to uphold Catholic teaching:
Of course, the pope meets with foreign leaders frequently, so it can be believed plausibly that his meeting with the House speaker in the Vatican on Saturday was not an effort to throw water on the bishops’ conference debate.
But the timing is remarkable, to say the least."
All this comes at a time when the Pope is opening the new Synodal way and openly calling for the Church to be "different"
Opening the Synodal Synods on Synodality, Pope Francis says: “We must not create another Church, we must make this Church different. This is the challenge, for a different Church open to new elements. Let us invoke the Holy Spirit, let us listen to Him, walking together.” pic.twitter.com/kgRiLbuv3D— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) October 9, 2021
When the Pope is openly calling for the Church to abandon Tradition and embrace the spirit of the age:
Opening the Synodal Synods on Synodality, Pope Francis says: “‘Things have always been done this way’ is a poison in the life of the Church. The people who do this make the mistake of not taking seriously the zeitgeist, which risks adopting old solutions for new problems” pic.twitter.com/ENpzDkdV1y— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) October 9, 2021
At least one US bishop had the courage to publicly point out that this is quite contrary to the purpose and mission of the Church:
While we are urged to be a “listening Church,” it’s a good time to recall that Jesus commissioned us first of all to be a preaching, teaching Church. We discern the signs of the times, and then we preach and teach the unchanging truth of Christ the world always needs to hear.— Bishop Thomas Tobin (@ThomasJTobin1) October 11, 2021
Given that even the most "Francis" of US Bishops - Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington has recently commented that Joe Biden “is not demonstrating Catholic teaching” with his abortion stance, would it be reasonable to speculate that the Pope going behind the bishop's backs and undermining them in this way could likely alienate them further as a body? Is this Machiavellian, Peronist Pope over playing his hand here? Only time will tell, but if, finally, bishops start to wake up and realise that Pope Francis and his strange direction is not any sort of leadership that is friendly to the Catholic faith, it could not come soon enough.