“For the good of souls, Nancy Pelosi must be denied Holy Communion and the Catholic people should be informed that she is being denied Holy Communion.”

“For the good of souls, Nancy Pelosi must be denied Holy Communion and the Catholic people should be informed that she is being denied Holy Communion.” February 8, 2012

I am quoting Fr. Z in the above title, but I must say that if this very moment Archbishop Niederauer and Cardinal Wuerl decided to excommunicate Nancy Pelosi or deny her Communion I would stand up and loudly cheer with joy. Hell, I may even dance in place.

And you can call me nasty or un-Christian for doing so all you want – but you’d be dead wrong.

Warning: I am about to say “hell” a lot.

First lets examine what it means when someone is excommunicated and denied Holy Communion. Excommunication is a “medicinal rather than a vindictive penalty, being intended, not so much to punish the culprit, as to correct him and bring him back to the path of righteousness.” [1]

By refusing to correct Pelosi’s repeated and scandalous support of matters so clearly contradictory of Church teaching she is most surely dooming herself to Hell. The silence of her superiors could be perceived that they don’t give a damn about her. Pelosi is in dire need of fraternal correction now. This very moment. Before she opens her mouth and condemns herself further.

Next let’s review Canon 915 on denying Communion: “Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

If Nancy Pelosi’s obstinate favor of abortion and contraception isn’t grounds for excommunication or denial of Communion then what the hell is? Denying her communion is not meant to be mean or judgmental. This is not a matter of “knowing someone’s heart”. Hearing that makes me rage.

We don’t need to know her heart. She’s publicly stated what her heart believes again and again. At this point there is no question.

Yeah but, what would Jesus do? Well, if you can’t or won’t presume to know what’s on Pelosi’s heart – even when she’s shouting it in front of the press – then don’t you think it’s pretty asinine to assume you’d know what Jesus Christ His Almighty Self would do?

I’m going with flipping tables in a fit of fury as my answer.

It’s not about being nice. It’s about upholding Church law and how it would be pretty sweet to have a Bishop wield his authority in such serious matters. It’s about defending what Catholics believe in no matter how severe the political backlash may be.

A denial of Communion is not using the Body of Christ as a “weapon”, as Wuerl stated in 2009. Denying communion is preserving our Sacrament from being profaned. For her to present herself to receive Our Lord in such a state where she publicly promotes and condones abortion and contraception is a SACRILEGE. I suppose if you believe communion is just communion and not Our Lord and Savior transubstantiated than there’s no need for anathema’s – carry on as you were. But surely that is not what Wuerl was implying, even when our Pope has said otherwise.

“Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.” – then Cardinal Ratzinger, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion.

So what the hell is the hold up here? The silence from our Church leaders is frustrating the flock. It’s even made poor Fr. Z curse.

The Church hierarchy needn’t be afraid of the message it will send by excommunicating Pelosi. They need to fear the message they are currently sending by not doing so. All I see is cowardice and a Church built on the blood of martyrs is not a Church of political kowtowing and cowardice.

If I were to rejoice at Nancy Pelosi’s excommunication I would be rejoicing the correction of sin, the chance at redemption, a hopefulness that a heart is turned away from supporting abortion, and that the Church Militant has finally decided to fight back.

I think that warrants the Happy Dance.

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  • harriet

    You rock sister!  

  • Gee, so like when will see “happy dances” for lying adulterers  like Newt?

    Isn’t lying and adultery a grave sin?

    What about hating one’s neighbor/being a racist/being an anti-semite?

    Strane the sins that seem to make some people just so happy, and the sins that seem to be ignored…

    • Is Newt lying and committing adultery this very minute then going to the press and stating that adultery is a-ok with Catholics? 

      Your comment and logic is invalid. 

      • kenneth

           He has, and is stating, that torture and extrajudicial killing is a wonderful thing, as is Santorum.  These things are, if not “grave sin”, certainly “uncool” within Church doctrine. To the extent he promotes murder for national sport, that’s certainly leading people astray. That is the very definition of “scandal” in the Catholic sense. 

            Is New lying and committing adultery this very minute? We’d need a gander at his email and phone logs to hazard a guess at that, but past is often prologue. In any case, if he is married to his current umpteeth wife without benefit of annulment, and I have not seen anything to indicate that he got annulments, then yes, he is absolutely living in adultery and openly endorsing it before other Catholics. That’s doubly true if he presents himself for communion. 

        • Adele

          Kenneth…You need to update…Newt was given an annulment and has been received into the Catholic Church. He is NOT promoting publically his past behaviour as a lifestyle..quite the contrary. He has publically stated that he regrets this part of his past and the pain his behavior has caused those he loved. In other words, he has recanted publically. That is the difference you seem to fail to grasp between his publical  and that of Pelosi who continues to misrepresent the teachings of the Church.  Of course if you are an ideologic Democrat ( some call”dyed in the wool”) you will choose to see what you choose to see irregardless of fact.

        • Adele

          …that was to read ..” you seem to fail to grasp between his public life and that of Pelosi….”  sorry!

        • irishsmile

          Gingrich is not my cup of tea but his marriages have been annuled.  The issue is not about the issues of a “Just war” theory per Catholic Theology nor is the issue Gingrich’s current spiritual life.  The issue is Catholic politicians who are actively and egregiously publicly supporting and promoting the arbitrary killing of innocent babies and these same political names claiming that they can espouse this heresy and still be accepted as practicing Catholics.  The Vatican has made it very clear that regarding valid wars or even  capitol punishment, church opinions can differ but they never differ regarding the taking of innocent life!  There is no worse scandal than Catholics rationalizing baby killing.

    • Captain Peabody

      Yes, those are all mortal sins, and regular Church law demands that one cannot receive communion without first confessing those sins and being absolved.  If there’s a person who is publicly doing any of those things, publicly being unrepentant, and still trying to take Communion, he should be denied Communion so as to avoid scandal.

      However, when it comes to Newt Gingrich, he has presumably confessed and been absolved for those sins.  No one, including himself, is acting like adultery and lying are positive, neutral, or praiseworthy things.  So denying him Communion for a sin he’s not currently engaged in and which he’s been absolved of would be absurd.  If he’s not showing enough remorse for those sins or minimizing them in public, those are themselves sins; but that’s a very subjective line to walk in denying someone Communion.  Manifest, open, unrepentant support for abortion is not.
      Because, while pretty much everyone acknowledges that adultery, lying, racisms, and all the other sins you’re listing are wrong, many, many people do not acknowledge that abortion and knowingly supporting abortion are wrong.  Which is why Ms. Pelosi’s stance is so scandalous to the faithful.

      Personally, I think I’ll be joining Kat in doing a happy dance if and when Pelosi is denied.

    • Robwardle

      If Newt was delivering speeches on the merits of and encouraging adultery, then it would be a grave sin. As for any past adultery, if he has been to confession and repented, then the sin is forgiven. Likewise, if Pelosi stopped promoting abortion and repented then her sin would be forgiven as well.

    • irishsmile

      Adultery is a grave, mortal  sin which needs to be confessed to be forgiven in confession.  Scandalously promoting and supporting the killing of babies falls under Canon 915 and subjects the sinner to the penalty of excommunication.  It is a latae sentenciae, self-incurred excommunication!  Pelosi’s  already got it; I would just like to hear the bishops say it out loud.   I raised five children, the youngest of whom is a priest!  My children and my grandchildren understand that killing innocent life is a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10.  Hate to disappoint you but I suspect that God doesn’t ignore any of our sins including giving comfort to those who destroy  innocent life.  Find a good priest and get yourself catechized.  Politics should never be more important than one’s Faith!

  • MeanLizzie

    I am no fan of Nancy Pelosi’s but my understanding — and this was as of about six months ago, so things may have changed — my understanding is that Pelosi goes to mass but does not receive. If that is still true, then she’s showing at least a minimal obedience.

  • Anonymous

    Has Sebelius been excommunicated yet? I know Archbishop Naumann, who I met once, asked that she no longer receive Eucharist but I didn’t know if she was officially excommunicated. If not she might have priority here.

  • Mary

    Nancy Pelosi, (and all public figures), who continually make public statements that go against Church teaching, and after being spoken with by their Bishop, should be denied Communion.  A statement from their Bishop should be made public.  I think it’s dangerous, however, for any of us to say that Nancy Pelosi is “most surely dooming herself to hell”. We also cannot know her heart.  Only God knows that. We can only come to conclusions based upon her public statements which have been outrageous and scandalous. I left a message for her on her voice mail once telling her she needs to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church because her views are twisted.  She frustrates and angers me tremendously but I would  disagree that “we” rejoice at anyone’s excommunication or denial of Communion. Anyone who is in this state is so far away from the truth that it’s very, very sad.  I find no joy in that. Justice yes; joy no.

  • Karen

    Amen.  I have a sister in law who goes around trumpeting her opinion that it’s not a sin to abort a baby because, pre-birth, they “aren’t ensouled.”  My mother in law, an otherwise devout Catholic, will not call her on this and tell her she is full of it.  She keeps telling us to “be nice,” and that “it’s just politics.” One of these days I’m going to tell her that the word “nice” is from the Latin root meaning “ignorant and foolish.” 

    We shouldn’t be nice to Nancy Pelosi, or anybody else who thinks the killing of babies is just fine and dandy.  I’m loving that “flipping your table Jesus-style” picture. 

  • Rfrendz

       I had an interesting and inspired revelation the other day. I was contemplating the begining of life in the womb. I heard a news broadcaster say that death was described as when the heart fails to beat anymore, and likewise he concluded life should assumed to begin when the heart starts beating. Another thought was that as soon as a mind developed with brain waves, this is when life begins. The reasoning behind this is that you can’t be concidered clinically dead till there are no brain waves registering. Science always looks for a scientific answer.
       My feeling is that life begins when the sprirt enters the body, because unlike other creatures, we are made in the image of God with a body (our temple), a soul (our awareness of self), and a spirit (which lives on after death, and in which Christ dwells when we receive Him as our Savior).
       If you read about the Immaculate conception, God’s son Jsesus, His spirit, His soul, and his single cell body was created in Mary’s womb at the moment of conception. Therefore’ by His own divine example, God has shown us the true moment that life begins. At conception, the spirit and soul are delivered into the newly conceived child which is living and growing and nourished by his mother. Granted we are born in sin, but our Spirit is given forgiveness and we become one with Christ through His shed blood.
       For this revelation, I give God the glory, Amen.

    • Um, dad, I’ll go ahead and point this out before someone else does – The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary’s conception in the womb of her mother, St. Ann. It means that Mary was free of the stain of original sin since the moment she was conceived. 

      But I knew what you were saying. Thanks for commenting. 🙂 

  • Maidnamerica

    I’m a new Catholic and not only enjoyed RCIA but have a wonderful sponsor that continues to do an excellent job of educating me in the Catholic faith. For over a year I went to Mass and had to be satisfied with only being able to go up and receive blessing. And I was happy to receive blessing but oh how I ached for Holy Communion! But the Church is strict about that and praise God she is! I’m sure Archbishop Niederauer and Cardinal Wuerl would agree? It’s confusing that Pelosi is allowed to partake of something so precious, so sacred that took me a year to be allowed to blessed with. The Church wanted to make sure I understood fully what Holy Communion truly is and all about the Catholic faith. Nancy openly defies the Church’s teachings and yet she still receives Holy Communion. Father Z, you, and many others ask a good question…why? I like your Jesus flipping tables image!

    I can’t help but wonder if Nancy weren’t who she is and were just a common civilian if things would be different? If I were openly defying the Church, my priest wouldn’t allow me Holy Communion the same as he wouldn’t allow it until I was confirmed. Sebelius was denied as well she should be and that also adds to the confusion about Nancy. One can’t help but wonder what is really going on here.

  •  Excommunication is a “medicinal rather than a vindictive penalty, being intended, not so much to punish the culprit, as to correct him and bring him back to the path of righteousness.” ………………………..FACE IT!   many of our Bishops care more about the political damage and fear being seen as “orthodox” then they care about an individuals(pelosi’s) soul.  It is all about the “risk vs the reward”.  It is just so much better not to a mean Bishop.  At the very least they should request the meeting and inform the parishoneer of the “grave” condition of their soul.  I believe that is what they have to do to fullfill their pasterly duties.  We should always pray for our Church leaders, for Wisdom and Grace.

  • mortimerzilch

    what’s the hold up here?  #1) fear of financial retribution from government- can’t hob-nob anymore, would be out of the power loop after that, fed money would dry up; #2) fear of schism – because there are SO MANY American Catholics that are JUST LIKE Pelosi, Biden, Sibelius, etc, etc. #3) it would be just like excommunicating themselves…half the bishops feel the same way…ho hum.

  • When I think of Catholic Democrats, I think of the penalties in Inferno for corrupt Church officials.  Lord have mercy.

  • maryd

    Sebelius should be denied the Eucharist, too!

  • agree!  agree! agree! well done , well argued and amen

  • bravo! agree! well done, well argued and amen. I am sure Thomas Moore would also agree.

  • Martha Renner

    Found your blog while searching whether or not she WAS excommunicated… I was almost POSITIVE she had been.  Fantastic post, and I’m going to have to answer with an echoing… ‘what the hell?’