OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
After House Speaker and California Rep. Nancy Pelosi received word that she was banned from receiving Holy Communion in her how district another Catholic bishop has a message for Catholic President Joe Biden.
Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia said that the president’s stance that he is a Catholic supporting abortion rights is damaging.
“I find it very troubling that President Biden continues to contradict the most basic teachings of the faith he professes,” he said in a recent episode of his podcast, Walk Humbly. He believes that the president causes “great scandal when he announces both his faith and his pro-abortion position publicly. I pray that he will change his position, repent of the scandal and the damage that is being caused.”
It is significant because his diocese covers Northern Virginia and borders Washington, D.C.
And it is more significant after Speaker Pelosi was banned from receiving Holy Communion in her home diocese.
In the time since San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone banned the Speaker from receiving Holy Communion in his jurisdiction he was joined by three other bishops.
Bishop Robert Vasa banned her from Holy Communion in the Santa Rosa Diocese, which borders San Francisco, The National Catholic Reporter reported.
“I have visited with the pastor at St Helena and informed him that if the Archbishop prohibited someone from receiving Holy Communion then that restriction followed the person and that the pastor was not free to ignore it,” he said.
Two others, Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington, in Virginia, and Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, joined Archbishop Cordileone and Bishop Robert Vasa.
It started a week ago when Archbishop Cordileone announced that the House Speaker is banned from receiving Holy Communion due to her pro-choice stance on abortion, Fox News reported.
Abortion is strictly forbidden in the Catholic church but some Democrats who claim to be Catholic, like Pelosi and President Joe Biden, have been advocates for abortion rights.
In a letter penned to Speaker Pelosi the Archbishop informed her that she should not attempt to receive Holy Communion and, if she does, priests are to deny her.
“The Second Vatican Council, in its Decree on the Church in the Modem World, Gaudium et spes, reiterated the Church’s ancient and consistent teaching that ‘from the first moment of conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes’. Christians have, indeed, always upheld the dignity of human life in every stage, especially the most vulnerable, beginning with life in the womb. His Holiness, Pope Francis, in keeping with his predecessors, has likewise been quite clear and emphatic in teaching on the dignity of human life in the womb,” he said in the letter.
“This fundamental moral truth has consequences for Catholics in how they live their lives, especially those entrusted with promoting and protecting the public good of society. Pope St. John Paul II was also quite consistent in upholding this constant teaching of the Church, and frequently reminded us that “those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a ‘grave and clear obligation to oppose’ any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them” (cf. Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life [November 24, 2002], n. 4, §1). A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 915),” the Archbishop said.
“In striving to follow this direction, I am grateful to you for the time you have given me in the past to speak about these matters. Unfortunately, I have not received such an accommodation to my many requests to speak with you again since you vowed to codify the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in federal law following upon passage of Texas Senate Bill 8 last September. That is why I communicated my concerns to you via letter on April 7, 2022, and informed you there that, should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” he said.
“As you have not publicly repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come. Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be “concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publicly repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” he said.