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Friday, February 20, 2009

Catholic group petitions Pope Benedict to excommunicate Nancy Pelosi

CNSNews.com is reporting today that Human Life International (HLI), a Catholic pro-life group based in Front Royal, Virginia has called upon Pope Benedict XVI to “formally excommunicate” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the Catholic Church for her pro-choice views.

“The reason we called for the pope is because so many people have called on the bishops in the jurisdictions she lives in, who could possibly do it—and they won’t,” said HLI President Rev. Thomas Euteneur. According to CNSNews.com, Pelosi, whose family’s net wealth is estimated at $19 million, has a home in the archdiocese of San Francisco, headed by Archbishop George Niederauer, and, of course, works in Washington, D.C., the archdiocese overseen by Archbishop Donald Wuerl. 

The Catholic Church’s catechism with respect to abortion is clear:

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception…. Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”

Pelosi met with Pope Benedict in Rome on Wednesday, after which the Vatican released the following statement about the meeting:

“His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”

Pelosi also issued a statement, focusing on issues other than abortion:

“It is with great joy that my husband, Paul, and I met with his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI today. In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church’s leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father’s dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel. I was proud to show his Holiness a photograph of my family’s papal visit in the 1950s, as well as a recent picture of our children and grandchildren.”

So, should House Speaker Nancy Pelosi be excommunicated from the Catholic Church?

Posted by Matthew Johnston

Posted by westernstandard on February 20, 2009 | Permalink


Yes, if she is pro abortion, which I believe she is. If the church does not stand for what it believes, then what does it really believe?

Posted by: TM | 2009-02-20 12:40:59 PM


Posted by: Brian Mallard | 2009-02-20 1:29:04 PM

Who cares what a church thinks.

Posted by: epsilon | 2009-02-20 3:01:30 PM

Epsilon, lots of people. But most of us that do care, are ok with the fact that some don't give a rats behind.

Posted by: TM | 2009-02-20 3:42:37 PM

Epsi wrote: "Who cares what a church thinks."

A billion Catholics, a billion Muslims, 600 million Protestants, and 13 million Jews. Now then, who in those groups cares what the obnoxious atheist minority thinks? Especially when it's an issue that is properly none of their business?


Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-20 6:17:57 PM

The grounds for excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church are these:

1. Apostasy.

2. Heresy.

3. Desecration of the consecrated host.

4. Using force against the body of the Pontiff.

5. Giving absolution to a person complicit in violation of the 6th commandment (murder) except at the time of death.

6. Impersonation of a priest.

7. Consecration of a bishop without Papal mandate.

8. Breaking the seal of confession.

9. Procuring an abortion.

10. Complicity in any of the above.

Unless Nancy Pelosi has either had an abortion herself or directly helped someone else obtain one (support of an existing law doesn't count), there are no grounds to excommunicate her from the Church. (I presume she's innocent of the other nine.)

Incidentally, excommunication does not have to be permanent. Forgiveness is available at any time should the excommunicate repent his sins. Oh, and before someone asks, denial of the Holocaust is not grounds for excommunication either.

That said, she's an imbecile. Yes, you can quote me. M-A-T-T-H-E-W-S.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-20 6:44:09 PM

In 2004, the Catholic Church(the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) published a document saying that there were 5 non-negotables for all Catholics.
1.) Catholics have to oppose abortion
2.) Catholics have to oppose cloning
3.) Catholics have to oppose gay marriage
4.) Catholics have to oppose euthanasia
5.) Catholics have to oppose embryonic stem cell research
The document says that Catholics can disagree on issues like the death penalty, the war in Iraq, etc. However, these five previous positions are unshakeable. If you don't like it, then find a leftist church.

Posted by: Tony | 2009-02-20 7:11:35 PM

One thing troubles me with all this doctrine. If it's so cut and dried, why do Catholics look to the Pope-of-the-day to render all these decisions? Why let one old man interpret such important doctrine? What would Catholics do if the Pope suddenly decides that abortion might be okay under certain conditions? Would there be an immediate revolt?

I'm just asking, not trying to judge anybody.

Posted by: dp | 2009-02-20 7:52:29 PM

There was resistance to Vatican II as well, dp. And the Catholic Church already allows abortions when it is necessary to save the life of the mother. No other circumstances could be justified on moral grounds compatible with Church teachings, so there's little chance of us ever finding out.

Although the rules listed above appear simple, you still have to decide what constitutes heresy, breaking the seal of confession, and so forth. Sometimes it's not easy Also, there is more to the Pope's job than an endless series of meetings scratching names off lists. Excommunication of the laity today is actually pretty rare.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-20 10:23:45 PM

Tony, where can I read that document? Also, does it say that violating any of those principles is grounds for excommunication, or does it simply require Catholics to support those initiatives? Remarrying after divorce is also against Church doctrine, but you won't be excommunicated for it.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-20 10:25:21 PM

Churches are irrelevant.

Posted by: epsilon | 2009-02-21 12:06:49 AM

The Catholic church since V2 is the anti-Christ. It denied that Christ was God. Since then Rome has been governed by another and the persecution Bishop Williamson is evidence of their power.


Posted by: DJ | 2009-02-21 1:17:29 AM

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-20 6:44:09 PM


This wouldn't ordinarily be much point in this comment, but because it is not too often that I find myself in agreement with you -- and in this case I agree with every single word of your analysis -- I'm weighing in.

You are absolutely correct, political support for abortion is simply not the sort of thing for which the Church does or should excommunicate people. For the Pope to excommunicate Pelosi (as HLI is asking him to) would be a radical departure from established and codified practices of the Church. HLI should get back us when San Fran Nan denies the perpetual and real virginity of Mary.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-02-21 4:47:59 AM

Churches are irrelevant. - Screamed the dust speck.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-21 9:00:59 AM

Has HLI called upon the pope to excommunicate all the catholic priest's that have molested children over the years? If not, maybe they should start there instead of trying to excommunicate a woman for simply speaking her views.

Posted by: glen | 2009-02-21 9:31:22 AM

I used to live in Quebec which is 83.4% Catholic according to the census.
It has a 67% support of gay marriage (it is now legal there), and the strongest support in Canada for euthanasia, abortion and common law couples. If we are going to start excommunicating people for their support of these measures then most Quebec Catholics should also be excommunicated. You can't pick and choose, what's good for a goose is a good for a gander. If Pelosi is excommunicated the Catholic church will have to start a mass culling of it's "followers" for their disagreemennt on these core issues. There will be barely any Catholics in Quebec and I suspect some other "Catholic" areas of the world.

Posted by: August | 2009-02-21 9:33:46 AM

Churches irrelevent? Don't get out much?

I don't go to church much, but I know where to find one fairly easily. Churches are very relevent, even in China.

Posted by: dp | 2009-02-21 9:48:37 AM

August, most of what you're seeing in Québec is fallout from the Quiet Revolution; it is still very much the 1960s over there. It is also a long-standing tradition that French-speaking societies do not progress steadily but instead plateau for long periods—often holding onto ideas and customs long obsolete elsewhere—before lurching violently ahead of the pack amid a backdrop of tremendous social upheaval. You see this both in European French and Québec history.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-21 11:24:29 AM

Churches are relevant because the issues that face humanity remain constant through the history of humanity, even though the stage, the issues and technologies change.

Human beings have gone to churches to pray they can get closer to the universal truths and somehow aspire to overcome the self-destructive behaviours inherent in their natures.

Plato, Aristotle and their kind brought valuable understanding and had taken philosophy about as far as it could be taken more than 2,000 years ago. There's been no improvement in secular thought since.

The sanctity of human life from conception to a natural death is one principle that has been understood throughout the millenia.

There will always be those who believe that they can be the authors of their own moral code and become Gods in their own right.

Yet, ask an atheist for the moral code they live by and much of the time it comes down to being ‘nice.' There is no atheist moral code.

But there are examples of how atheists can behave if all they are guided by is ‘I inherently know I'm doing the right thing.' Josef Stalin apparently was very nice to his family. Pol Pot? I'm deliberately leaving out one name that invariably crops up in these discussions.

Show us the moral code!

Posted by: set you free | 2009-02-21 11:59:35 AM

Just as well, SYF; Hitler was nominally Catholic. How much respect he had for the faith is hard to determine, but one interesting historical note: He had the law defining Jewishness written to exclude Jesus Christ and himself.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-21 12:30:45 PM

Posted by: Shane Matthews:
""Now then, who in those groups cares what the obnoxious atheist minority thinks? Especially when it's an issue that is properly none of their business?"

What is proper business for some, that for billions you ask to opine on, a subset of the atheist population by a dimension present in all religions, a trait emphasized less by a balanced temperament.

What business are we talking on ? I suggest that secularists have no idea how far our values of human life have eroded. Upon what a precipice our species sits with relation to it's own nature.

We know at least the crickets advise. It is done out in the open, plain and public. But your rhetoric is a false ecumenicism, plain and simple, in conceits of allied accord in, breaking the silence enough to contemptuously exhibit Christian identity.

About what sort of political business are you going about Shame Matthews?

You know how blind the secular can be to sacred things, how quickly they forget. Why invite their involvement by staring down ignorance with such indulgent poignancy? But I indulge in poignancy to consider this contempt a negative invitation to listen.

Posted by: Timothy | 2009-02-22 12:41:41 AM

Shane Matthew,

I agree with most of what you have said. However, there are two points you are wrong on. It is not murder that gets you excommunicated, it's "when a priest absolves a (his) partner to adultery except at the time of death'. Also, the Catholic Church ABSOLUTELY does NOT allow abortion for ANY reason, not even to save the mother's life. There are procedures that are acceptable in attempt tp save the mother but never to deliberately abort the child. They can do no direct action to the baby. Ask a priest ot look that up. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE IS ABORTION ACCEPTABLE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

Posted by: MARIE | 2009-02-23 8:55:03 AM


1. I did not say the act of murder was grounds for excommunication, but rather the granting of absolution to a party to it. The confusion as to the sixth commandment of the Decalogue is an old one, and yes, I did look it up. I found it listed both ways, but having dug deeper, it seems the source I used was incorrect, and that "thou shalt not kill" is the fifth commandment, not the sixth. I stand corrected.

2. You are correct; my mistake. I was under the impression that an exception was made when continuation of the pregnancy would result in the death of the mother. The point between procedures intended to save the mother that incidentally harm the fetus and those targeting the fetus specifically boils down to one of intent, as opposed to the final result.

Darned if my results-oriented Machiavellianism didn't get the best of me again.

P.S. Abortionists, like murderers, should be given to the gallows flames. My opinion only.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-02-23 10:59:02 AM

I agree. However I do believe that abortion is so much worse on so many different levels. It is a deliberate calculated methodic act and deception from so many parties. The so called doctors themselves, their staff, THE MEDIA, and the public.

Don't get me wrong I do not condone murder and that is a horrible evil thing BUT there are atleast some cases that it happened in the heat of the moment or in an act of passion. Not an excuse, just a reason. An act of abortion cannot ever claim that defense or argument. There are too many people involved in this horrific act that there are no excuses or disclaimers.

Posted by: MARIE | 2009-02-23 11:33:30 AM

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