House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received Holy Communion on Wednesday during a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica and also met with Pope Francis. She has been denied the sacrament in her home city of San Fransisco because of her unrepentant support of unlimited abortion on demand.
Witnesses said Pelosi attended morning Mass for the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul. She sat in an area designated for VIP diplomats and received Communion along with the other congregants present.
Pelosi has been denied Communion by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in his archdiocese. He has issued a public statement that Pelosi must repudiate her support for legal abortion or cease describing herself to the world as a faithful Catholic.
Despite the archbishop’s sanction, Pelosi maintains her support for abortion while declaring herself as a “strong Catholic.” She described the ruling issued by the Supreme Court last month striking down Roe v. Wade as “outrageous and heart-wrenching.”
She went on to say the decision was made to comply with Republicans’ “dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions.”
Archbishop Cordileone’s decision to bar Pelosi from Communion does not prohibit her from taking it at other parishes. She reportedly routinely receives Communion in Washington, D.C., where the archbishop permits her.
Pope Francis does not control who receives Communion during a papal Mass. It is not clear from reports whether he knew Pelosi was in attendance.
Pelosi touted her faith again Tuesday at a diplomatic reception at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. She addressed a gathering of ambassadors and Vatican officials about the important role of Catholic virtues in the embassy’s diplomatic mission. She described her faith as “an important gift” that not everyone has.
Pelosi also reportedly met personally with Pope Francis on Wednesday and received a blessing from him.
Pope Francis has described his belief that the Eucharist is “not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” He told reporters last September that priests should not be involved in politics. He added they should not “condemn their flock” but should treat the faithful “with tenderness and compassion.”