The Pelosi Dialogues
During a recent in-flight discussion with the press returning from Slovakia, Pope Francis said some remarkable things. One particularly deserves notice: his often-repeated claim: “Abortion is more than a problem – abortion is homicide. . . . Whoever has an abortion kills.” He has also – more boldly than any previous pope – compared abortion to “hiring a hitman” – especially noteworthy because, in Italy, he has excommunicated members of the Mafia.
And yet, when he turned to how to handle the global homicide spree of abortion (tens of millions every year), he counseled priests to “Be a pastor, don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.” Francis is, to put it mildly, often unclear speaking off-the-cuff, and some commentators hoped that he was implying that those who get or cooperate in abortions (like pro-abortion politicians) are excommunicated.
Pope Francis would probably try to avoid saying that. He has deflected questions – claiming ignorance of the particulars – about giving Communion to figures like President Biden and Nancy Pelosi. He must know, however, that decades of being “pastoral” have done nothing in stopping the destruction of innocent human life.
Here in America, we now have a strong example of being a pastor. San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has called the misnamed “Women’s Health Protection Act” (which the House passed Friday and would provide abortion even to the “trans” and “non-binary”) nothing other than “child sacrifice.” The Senate is unlikely to advance it. But Cordileone was in line with the pope when he said, clearly aiming at Pelosi’s promotion of the bill, that it’s “surely the type of legislation one would expect from a devout Satanist, not a devout Catholic.”
We can’t know what Cordileone may have said to Pelosi as a pastor in private, at least until the day comes when he judges that his pastoral duties to his entire flock demands he not allow prominent Catholics to mislead others into endangering their souls. But even though it can’t take place in the Church, you can’t help wishing that a real public dialogue could take place.