Pelosi Continues to Roil Bishops

On August 24, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Tom Brokaw on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the Catholic Church has not been able to decide when life begins; she was quickly criticized by many bishops and lay Catholics (including the Catholic League) for misrepresenting the Church’s teaching. No source of criticism was more important than that of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Three days later, Pelosi’s office issued a statement acknowledging that the Church teaches that life begins at conception. However, it also said that St. Augustine offered a different perspective and opined that “many Catholics do not ascribe to that [the Church’s] view.”

Yesterday, the USCCB issued another statement: it was a two-page reply that offered a historical account of the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion. The release makes it clear that the Church has always been unequivocally opposed to abortion. The new statement was written to “help end confusion caused by recent misrepresentations of Catholic Church teaching on abortion,” a process that was “prompted by misleading remarks by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue weighed in as follows:

“Nancy Pelosi continues to give currency to the idea that the Church’s teaching on abortion has evolved over time, and that in any case there is more than one legitimate Catholic position on this subject. She is twice wrong. It is precisely because of people like Morton Kondracke of the Fox News Channel, Anthony Stevens-Arroyo of the Newsweek-Washington Post ‘On Faith’ blog site, and anti-Catholic groups such as Catholics for Choice, that the confusion continues to rage. All of them defend Pelosi’s ignorant remarks.

“Nineteen Catholic members of the House have publicly asked Pelosi to ‘correct the public record’ on this issue. Her steadfast refusal to do so is keeping this matter alive. One wonders what it will take to get her to retract her comments before more damage is done to the Catholic Church, to her and to the Democratic Party.”

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage

  • Warren Jewell

    The bishops should pressure her ordinary to very publicly excommunicate her.

    Her statements should be quoted and refuted by Catechism and canon law citings.

    The requirements she would have to undergo as penance and reform should be spelled out clearly.

  • baptizedsoul

    The following reveals futher that Nancy Pelosi cares nothing for divine truth but only desires “her worldly and political lies and fluant these as truth.” Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church has indeed revealed from the very beginning that abortion is evil and that life begins at the very moment of conception.


    “You shall not kill the child by obtaining an abortion. Nor, again, shall you destroy him after he is born.” St. Barnabas, “Epistle of St. Barnabas,” c. 70-100 A.D.

    “You shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill one who has been born.” The Didache [The Teaching Of The Twelve Apostles] c. 80-140 A.D.

    “Women who were reputed believers began to resort to drugs for producing sterility. They also girded themselves around, so as to expel what was being conceived. For they did not wish to have a child by either slave or by any common fellow – out of concern for their family and their excessive wealth. See what a great impiety the lawless one has advanced! He teaches adultery and murder at the same time!” St. Hipploytus, “Refutation Of All Heresies,” c. 225 A.D.

    “He [the schismatic Novatian] struck the womb of his wife with his heel and hurried an abortion, thereby causing parricide.” St. Cyprian of Carthage, “Epistle 52 To Cornelius,” c. 251 A.D.

    “A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction as to its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible amongst us.” St. Basil the Great, “Epistle 138,” c. 375 A.D.

    “Others drink for sterility and commit murder on the human not yet sown. Some when they sense that they have conceived by sin, consider the poisons for abortion, and frequently die themselves along with it, and go to Hell guilty of three crimes: murdering themselves, committing adultery against Christ, and murder against their unborn child.” St. Jerome, “Epistle 22,” c. 380 A.D.

    “The rich women, to avoid dividing the inheritance among many, kill their own fetus in the womb and with murderous juices extinguish in the genital chamber their children.” St. Ambrose “On the Hexaemeron,” c. 386 A.D.

    “To destroy the fetus ‘is something worse than murder.’ The one who does this ‘does not take away life that has already been born, but prevents it from being born.'” St. John Chrysostom “Homilies on Romans,” c. 391 A.D.

  • Ms Pelosi has a lot to say, let her keep talking because finally our Bishops are speaking out. The world is listening. May God Be Praised