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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received Holy Communion during a Wednesday Mass at the Vatican despite her unwavering support for abortion rights.
Pope Francis presided over the morning Mass, which marked the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul. Francis bestowed the woolen pallium stole on several newly consecrated archbishops.
Pelosi was seated in a VIP diplomatic section where she joined in communion with the other congregants, two witnesses at the Mass said according to the Associated Press. Pelosi also met with Francis that same day.
Pelosi was previously barred from receiving communion by Archbishop of San Francisco Salvatore Cordileone due to her stance on abortion. In a letter published in May, Cordileone wrote that Pelosi should not present herself at Mass and said that priests would not allow her to receive Communion if she did attend.
“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,” Cordileone wrote in the letter.
The Archbishop added that he had previously written to Pelosi on April 7, and stated 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.” Pelosi did not comply with these requests, according to Cordileone’s May letter.
Pelosi reacted to the Friday Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in a landmark decision.
“What this means to women is such an insult. It’s a slap in the face to women about using their own judgment to make their own decisions about their reproductive freedom,” Pelosi said during her remarks following the SCOTUS decision. “A woman’s right to choose, reproductive freedom is on the ballot in November.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear in its stance regarding abortion, and states, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law. You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.”
It continues on to decry any law that “deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.