Even after being corrected by Catholic bishops
and Pope Benedict XVI himself
, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi—a self-proclaimed “practicing Catholic,” hard-core abortion supporter, and one of the one most powerful people in government—has once again distorted Catholic teaching to the masses. This time, the offense landed in the pages of Newsweek magazine
For the last few months, Pelosi has made it clear that her priority is to push tax payer-funded abortion coverage in the healthcare bill, meaning she wants you and me to pay for abortions that we are morally opposed to. She failed to do that in the House version of the bill when the Stupak amendment stripped abortion coverage from the bill. Now that the bill has passed in the Senate WITH the abortion funding, it will go to conference committee
, where the two bills will be poked and prodded until they come up with some kind of compromise of what the final bill will look like. Pelosi is standing firm to her stance that tax payer-funded abortion coverage should stay in the final bill.
That doesn’t sound very Catholic to me, but here’s what Pelosi had to say when Newsweek asked about the controversy:
“I have some concerns about the church's position respecting a woman's right to choose. I have some concerns about the church's position on gay rights. I am a practicing Catholic, although they're probably not too happy about that. But it is my faith. I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will.”
It doesn’t get any better when she’s asked about her obligations as a “practicing Catholic” vs. public official.
“When I speak to my archbishop in San Francisco and his role is to try to change my mind on the subject, well then he is exercising his pastoral duty to me as one of his flock. When they call me on the phone here to talk about, or come to see me about an issue, that's a different story. Then they are advocates, and I am a public official, and I have a different responsibility.”
Elizabeth Lev hits it right on the money when she writes in her column “Nancy Pelosi, Catholic Without A Clue”
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems to be planning a second career as a theologian. Unfortunately, she never gets one Catholic fact right…
…Had Pelosi chosen to do a minimum of research before speaking, she might have consulted the users' manual for the Catholic Church, the Catechism, which some American bishop or other must have sent her as a stocking-stuffer this year. There our aspiring theologian would have found a different definition. Freedom, according to the Catholic Church, (CCC article 3)
is the person's ability to choose between good and evil. He can choose to do something good or something evil but he cannot choose to make evil good. To take responsibility for one's actions is to recognize that one has chosen evil and to accept the consequences both in this world and the next.
The position of the Catholic Church is that abortion, the taking of an innocent human life, is intrinsically evil.
…With an F in theology and an incomplete in history, Pelosi's Catholic GPA seems to be at an all-time low.”
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the Catholic Church's largest pro-life ministry, commented today
on Pelosi's statement that because God gives humans free will, women should be able to exercise free will with regard to abortion.
"I would think someone in Speaker Pelosi's position would realize that women do not get abortions because of freedom of choice; they get them precisely because they feel they have no freedom and no choice. Moreover, I doubt the Speaker would argue that because God grants us free will that the government should allow us to choose whether to pay taxes.
It's time to listen to the voices of those who have had abortions, like the women in the Silent No More Awareness Campaign
. The pro-life movement is not about taking away their freedom. It's about taking away their despair."