The archbishop of San Francisco is calling on Christians to pray and fast for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — a Catholic — to experience a change of heart regarding abortion.
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone released a statement last week exhorting “all Catholics and others of goodwill” to pray and fast in hopes Pelosi would experience a “conversion of heart” on the matter.
“A conversion of heart of the majority of our congressional representatives is needed on this issue,” he wrote, “beginning with the leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
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. Please sign up for the “Rose and Rosary for Nancy” campaign at BenedictInstitute.org, and a rose will be sent to her as a symbol of your prayer and fasting for her.
Speaker Pelosi speaks fondly of her children. She clearly has a maternal heart. Pope Francis has called abortion murder, the equivalent of hiring a hitman to solve a problem. The solution to a woman in a crisis pregnancy is not violence but love. Please join me in praying the rosary and fasting for a conversion of Speaker Pelosi’s maternal heart to embracing the goodness and dignity of human life not only after birth, but in the womb as well.
The archbishop’s prayer came on the heels of a new bill passed by the House of Representatives that, if signed into law, would codify the right to abortion into law.
Known as the Women’s Health Protection Act, the legislation states that “abortion services are essential to health care and access to those services is central to people’s ability to participate equally in the economic and social life of the United States.”
“Reproductive justice requires every individual to have the right to make their own decisions about having children, regardless of their circumstances and without interference and discrimination,” it continues.
The legislation, it should be noted, is not likely to make it through the Senate.
Cordileone described the bill as “nothing short of child sacrifice” and said it’s “shameful that any self-professed Catholic would be implicated in such an evil, let alone advocate for it.”
In late September, Pelosi said she believes God gives people “free will to honor our responsibilities,” noting she grew up in a pro-life household and went on to give birth to five children over six years.
“For us,” she said, “it was a complete and total blessing, which we enjoy every day of our lives. But it’s none of our business how other people choose the size and timing of their families.”
Cordileone stated earlier this year that he believes Catholics who advocate abortion — among them being Pelosi and President Joe Biden — should not receive communion.
“Your Catholic ideals inspire you in your work to help those who experience discrimination, violence, and injustice, and you deserve the gratitude of your fellow Catholics and our nation for this service,” he wrote in May. “But we cannot empower the weak by crushing the weakest.”
“If you find that you are unwilling or unable to abandon your advocacy for abortion, you should not come forward to receive Holy Communion,” he continued. “To publicly affirm the Catholic faith while at the same time publicly rejecting one of its most fundamental teachings is simply dishonest.”
Pope Francis, for his part, stated in mid-September he has “never denied Communion to anyone,” a departure from several bishops in the U.S. who agree with Cordileone.
While describing abortion is “homicide,” the pope stated, “If we look at the history of the church, we will see that every time the bishops have not dealt with a problem as pastors, they have taken sides politically.”
“When the church, in order to defend a principle, acts in a non-pastoral way, it takes sides on a political plane, it has always been so,” he continued. “What must a pastor do? Be a pastor. Don’t go condemning. Be a pastor because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.”
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