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Pelosi receives communion in the Vatican after San Francisco archbishop banned her over her support for abortion rights: report

Pope Francis greets Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul, on Wednesday before a mass at the Vatican.

Vatican Media via AP

  • Nancy Pelosi reportedly received communion at the Vatican after a US archbishop sought to ban her.
  • Pelosi also met with Pope Francis, according to the AP. Francis did not give her communion.
  • In the US, some Catholic leaders have sought to ban pro-abortion rights politicians from receiving communion. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly received communion during a Papal mass in Rome on Wednesday, a move that comes after an archbishop in San Franscico moved to deny her the sacrament over her pro-abortion views.

The Associated Press reported that Pelosi was seated in a special VIP section of St. Peter’s Basilica. According to witnesses who spoke to the outlet, the top House Democrat later received communion along with the rest of the congregants at the service.  The AP reported that Pope Francis did not preside over communion himself, which fits his broader approach of trying to avoid the political fights that have ensued over one of the pillars of the Catholic faith and Christianity.

Francis met privately with Pelosi, per the AP. A spokesperson for the House speaker’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Vatican released a photo of the Pope greeting Pelosi and her husband, Paul. 

In the US, more conservative archbishops have moved to ban liberal politicians from receiving communion if those officials are publicly pro-abortion rights.

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone went public with his outrage over Pelosi’s views in May, vowing that she would be banned from receiving the sacrament until she publicly reverses her stance on abortion. 

Pelosi has not changed her beliefs. In fact, she renewed her vow to elect more pro-abortion rights candidates this November after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in a historic decision last week.

The first woman to serve as House Speaker, Pelosi repeatedly and often invokes her Catholic faith. She responded to Cordileone blasting her by pointing out that the church does not deny communion to politicians in favor of the death penalty.

“I wonder about death penalty, which I am opposed to,” Pelosi told MSNBC after Cordileone announced his decision. “So is the church, but they take no action against people who may not share their view … So, we just have to be prayerful. We have to be respectful. I come from a largely pro-life Italian American Catholic family, so I respect people’s views about that. But I don’t respect us foisting it onto others.”

It is against Catholic Church teachings to be in favor of abortion or the death penalty. In most cases, it is up to a local priest whether to grant communion or not.

Francis has tried to cool tensions by emphasizing that bishops are not elected officials themselves.

“What must the pastor do?” Francis said last year when asked about the effort to deny communion to pro-abortion politicians. “Be a pastor, don’t go condemning. Be a pastor, because he is a pastor also for the excommunicated.”

A representative for the Vatican did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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