Since May 20, when San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone barred House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving the Eucharist in his diocese, three more conservative Catholic bishops have done the same, citing her open support of abortion rights as their justification.
On the same day that Pelosi was denied Communion by Cordileone in a public letter, Pelosi was denied it by Bishop Robert Vasa of the neighboring Diocese of Santa Rosa, which is part of Cordileone’s archdiocese. “to not be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution.”
“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,” Vasa said in his statement, per report.
On Wednesday, Vasa was joined by Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington and Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, a renowned conservative firebrand.
A small but vociferous group of American bishops, including Cordileone, Vasa, Burbidge, and Strickland, argued with one another last summer about whether or not priests ought to refuse Biden the sacrament because of his support for abortion rights.
A study on the subject was published a few months later, with the major recommendation being that American Catholics be better informed about the importance of the Eucharist.
Vasa cited an item of canon law in his speech Friday that, in his view, “makes it clear that providing sacraments to someone prohibited from receiving them has its own possible penalties.” According to Vasa, under canon law, a person who knowingly delivers a sacrament to “those who are not permitted to receive it” may be “punished by suspension.” Read more