The head of the Southern Baptist office in Washington D.C. once said to me during St. John Paul II’s papacy, “You’ve got a pope there who really knows how to pope.” (Despite Baptist differences with Rome, he meant it as a deep compliment.) You might say something similar about San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone: There’s an archbishop who knows how to archbishop.
Any Catholic paying attention is aware by now that, last week, Cordileone barred Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from receiving Communion in his archdiocese (full text here). And that courageous act – the willingness to go first – has gotten a handful of other American bishops to announce their support as well (see list here). More will be coming.
That support by fellow bishops is important, not only for the current public controversies as we wait for the Supreme Court to hand down the Dobbs decision. There are troubling clashes within the Church itself over this question. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual June meeting this year will be worth watching carefully.