House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received the Eucharist while attending papal Mass at the Vatican, despite her public support for abortion rights and being barred from receiving communion in her hometown over her stance.
The California Democrat, a practicing Catholic, was administered Holy Communion while at St. Peter’s Basilica on Wednesday, said two witnesses, who told the Associated Press that Pelosi was seated in a VIP diplomatic section of the Church.
Pope Francis presided over the Mass – which was held to mark the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul – however he did not administer Communion to Pelosi. Instead she received it from one of the many priests in the service.
She did, however, receive a blessing from the Pope during a meeting with him earlier in the day.
It is not common for Pope Francis to administer communion, as he has sought to avoid politicizing the sacrament.
Wednesday’s Mass comes over one month after the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, barred Pelosi from receiving Communion until she repents of her public pro-choice stance.
“A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others,” Cordileone wrote in a public notification. “Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.’”
“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,” he continued.
Several other Roman Catholic archbishops across the country quickly followed suit with similar bans against the Speaker.
Pelosi has long publicly support federal abortion rights and sought to codify the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling into law before it was overturned by the Supreme Court on June 24.
Last week, Pelosi called the decision to overturn the ruling “outrageous and heart-wrenching.”
Earlier this month the Speaker was pressed on Catholic and social beliefs as the late Pope John Paul II and current Pope Francis have publicly labeled abortion as murder according to the Catholic Church.
“Do you agree with Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II that abortion is murder?” a reporter asked.
“What I agree on is that whatever I believe, agree with the pope on, is not necessarily what public policy should be in the United States as people make their own judgments, honor their own responsibilities, and attend to the needs of their families,” Pelosi responded.
When pressed further, Pelosi blasted the politicization of the issue calling it “uniquely American.”
“Let me just say this, a woman has the right to choose, to live up to her responsibility,” Pelosi said. “It’s up to her, her doctor, her family, her husband, her significant other, and her God. This politicizing all of this, I think it’s something uniquely American and not in other countries.
“Ireland, Italy, Mexico has had legislative initiatives to expand a woman’s right to choose — very Catholic countries,” she added.
“I’m a very Catholic person, and I believe in every woman’s right to make her own decisions,” Pelosi said.