Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone on Nancy Pelosi and Holy Communion

As you may have heard in the news, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the archdiocese of San Francisco recently released a statement that explained the notification sent to Nancy Pelosi informing her that she would be unable to receive communion until she renounced and rescinded her vehement support for abortion:

“As the Archbishop of San Francisco, I am bound to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1).  This most serious duty can sometimes become unpleasant, especially when Catholics in public life explicitly promote practices that involve the direct taking of innocent human life, which is what abortion does.  I have struggled with this issue in my own conscience for many years now, especially with regard to the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and member of our Archdiocese, Nancy Pelosi.”

He continued by saying that, according to canon 915 of Canon Law, any person “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

John Morales welcomed Archbishop Cordileone onto Morning Air to discuss his decision, the reasoning behind it, and what he hopes will result from this public announcement.

John began the conversation by asking what was it that finally made His Excellency take this action, considering that Speaker Pelosi has been outspokenly pro-abortion for decades. He responded, saying that he has had the chance to speak with her in the past, but given her renewed vigor in defending abortion, he has reached out to her numerous additional times and has received either a rejection or no response.

Pelosi’s stance on abortion has only grown more extreme in recent years, especially following the Texas “Heartbeat Bill” and the leaked report from the Dobbs v. Jackson WHO case. In April, Archbishop Cordileone sent a letter to her, asking her to refrain from touting her Catholic faith in public or receiving communion as long as she held these views. But in May, she again used her Catholic faith as a basis of reasoning for stances. Before banning her immediately, Cordileone made one more effort to meet with her but received no response. That was when he decided to issue his statement.

His Excellency referred several times, in his statement and his interview, to the “scandal” caused by Speaker Pelosi and her stances. By that, he means the resulting confusion from Catholics seeing somebody who claims to be Catholic and yet outwardly supports abortion. When no action is taken to remedy that incongruence, people begin to believe that it’s acceptable for Catholics to hold these beliefs. The “scandal” is that these people are being led astray. Archbishop Cordileone issued this statement to make it clear that there is no room for the support of abortion in the Catholic Church.

Archbishop said he made this decision only because he had to. “It’s extremely unpleasant,” he said. “People need to understand this is something I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to do. Yes, I have been praying about this for many years, fasting for our speaker. I’ve been consulting Church leaders whom I respect for their wisdom and their integrity and their pastoral sensitivity.” Politicians have begun this errant practice of connecting their Catholic faith with their support for certain things like abortion, attempting to convince people that it’s okay.

The San Francisco archbishop said that he has been accused by multiple parties of attempting to weaponize the Eucharist for political reasons. But he wants people to know that this statement comes from a purely pastoral perspective. That’s why he initiated the Roses and Rosaries for Nancy campaign, why he has made so many attempts to meet with Pelosi, called for prayer and fasting for her, and issued this decision directly according to canon 915.

As Nancy Pelosi’s pastor, Archbishop Cordileone said that his ultimate goal is the salvation of her soul. He loves her the way he loves the rest of his flock, and he does not want to take away from any good things that she does, but her support for abortion is a “serious blind spot”. While only God can make a judgment on the final destination of her soul, we know abortion to be a serious evil.

John asked His Excellency what it would take for him to withdraw his ban and allow for her to return to communion. “As I say in the notification, there has to be a public repudiation of the advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and then to confess the sin in the sacrament and receive sacramental absolution.” The reconciliation is to restore her soul and put her in the right relationship with God, and the public repudiation is to repair the scandal that she has done.

Archbishop Cordileone has made it known that he is still willing to meet with Speaker Pelosi if she would like but has yet to receive a response.

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John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.