It is a sad commentary on the times in which we live when some self-described Catholics in public life, such as Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, can receive plaudits from the media for being nothing more than an arrogant woman who chooses to flaunt her pro-abortion position while claiming she is a Catholic in good standing.
Eleanor Clift, columnist and contributing editor for Newsweek, recently interviewed Pelosi and commenced with this softball, “America loves you, Nancy” statement: “You are seen as this far-out liberal, when you actually are quite traditional in your lifestyle. I feel like the country doesn’t really know you.” Geesh! How gushy can an interviewer get? It was during this interview that Granny Nancy said,
I have some concerns about the [C]hurch’s position respecting a woman’s right to choose. … 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.
Can’t you just hear former president Ronald Reagan saying, “There she goes again”? And mind you, the former president wasn’t a Catholic, but he knew the difference between truth and falsehood when it came to the act of abortion, which he never defined as "a woman’s right to choose.”
Indeed, President Reagan became the first U.S. president to endorse human personhood when he issued the now-historic Personhood Proclamation. It seems that, even in 1988, this politician knew that truth trumps politics.
However, for Pelosi, quite the opposite is the case. The record is clear on that point. Pelosi’s public statements are not only an insult to Catholics who know and understand the Catholic Church’s magisterial teaching, and strive very hard to be faithful to those teachings, but far worse is the fact that her statements are literally akin to slapping Christ Himself in the face.
But really, this is nothing new for Speaker Pelosi. Sad to say, she has been travelling down this road to you know where for quite some time. During an August 24, 2008 interview on Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw asked Pelosi to explain to him when a human being’s life begins. She responded,
I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator—St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child–first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There’s [sic] very clear distinctions. This isn’t about abortion on demand, it’s about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and—to—that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god [sic]. And so I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins. As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this, and there are those who’ve decided…
Pelosi’s imitation of a modern-day Martin Luther spouting dissenting theological views inspired the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to correct her egregiously inaccurate claims in a media release that said in part,
In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (No. 2271)
In the Middle Ages, uninformed and inadequate theories about embryology led some theologians to speculate that specifically human life capable of receiving an immortal soul may not exist until a few weeks into pregnancy. While in canon law these theories led to a distinction in penalties between very early and later abortions, the Church’s moral teaching never justified or permitted abortion at any stage of development.
The bishops went on to explain that, with the advent of scientific discoveries made over 150 years ago, the Catholic Church recognized that a human being begins at his biological beginning and made that quite clear. Apparently, Pelosi missed that chapter during her studies and today she is, as she was two years ago, defying the Catholic Church and treating Christ Himself with contempt.
Pelosi was wrong in 2008 and she’s wrong now, even though Eleanor Clift is more than happy to give ink to what is patently false and misleading when discussing the Catholic Church’s teachings. Pelosi’s interview is a perfect example of a brand of hubris that defies logic, common sense and basic morality.
Politics Daily columnist Elizabeth Lev wrote the following about the Clift interview in her column titled “Nancy Pelosi, Catholic Without a Clue”:
Pelosi’s Catholic-lite construct here suggests that free will means the ability to judge what is right and wrong, with each person’s conscience being the final arbiter. Coherency in her concept of Catholic teaching would mean legalizing rape and murder and allowing each person to choose and then take responsibility for his or her own actions. More than the far left liberal that many claim her to be, Pelosi seems to favor anarchy.
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 Creative Minority Report blog provides this perspective of the interview:
What we know is that Nancy Pelosi continues to publicly represent herself as a faithful and practicing Catholic while continuing to publicly oppose the Church on grave moral matters. We also know that her [b]ishop has apparently contacted her privately to try and change her mind, to which she has responded publicly by saying she will not be swayed. This is a textbook definition of scandal and should, at this point, be dealt with in a direct and public way lest no one else think that you can hold these positions and consider yourself a “practicing” Catholic.
This is exactly what I think. It’s time to lay down the law in a way that Pelosi— and the American public—will understand. Pelosi needs to be publicly excommunicated with the unanimous agreement of the entire U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
This is why I believe the following tongue-in-cheek tale is so very appropriate. Oh, and in case I didn’t mention it, this bit of humor was sent to me by one of my favorite Catholic priests, who is extremely witty and quite joyful:
The pope and Nancy Pelosi are on stage in front of a huge crowd…
The pope leans towards Mrs. Pelosi and says, “Do you know that, with one little wave of my hand, I can make every person in this crowd go wild with joy? This joy will not be a momentary display, like that of your followers, but go deep into their hearts, and for the rest of their lives, whenever they speak of this day, they will rejoice!”
Pelosi replied, “I seriously doubt that; with one little wave of your hand? Show me.”
So the pope slapped her.