After the San Francisco archbishop banned Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion due to her stance on abortion, Pope Francis has passed him over for promotion and elevated another bishop to the rank of cardinal — a prelate who holds an opposing position on politicians and the Eucharist.
On Sunday, Francis named Diocese of San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy as cardinal. McElroy has been one of the bishops that has spoken out against the calls for bishops to exclude pro-abortion politicians from Communion, Fox News reported.
In choosing McElroy, Pope Francis passed over San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for elevation, as Fox reported.
The issues of Communion and pro-abortion politicians has taken on new visibility since President Joe Biden took office.
Biden is only the second Catholic president in U.S. history.
John F. Kennedy was the first. But since his presidency and assassination took place a decade before the 1973 Roe v Wade decision, the issue of abortion did not have the prominence it has now.
Now, the Supreme Court is potentially on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade and the battle over abortion is fierce. However, Cordileone said his decision concerning Pelosi was not related to the court’s current position, according to Fox.
According to official Catholic doctrine going back to the church’s beginnings, abortion is wrong.
As “Donum Vitae,” a 1987 instruction from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, states:
“Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being.”
On May 20, Cordileone publicly announced that he had barred Pelosi from receiving Communion in his archdiocese because of her forceful, public support of legal abortion.
Pelosi was “not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution,” Cordileone wrote in a public letter.
The archbishop also wrote directly to Pelosi.
“You are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” he wrote, Fox News reported.
Three other American bishops have joined Cordileone in barring Pelosi from Communion in their jurisdictions, and others have issued public statements of support for the Cordileone’s decision.
But now, Francis has passed over Cordileone and named McElroy as a cardinal.
McElroy has been very public about warning against the idea of denying Communion to pro-abortion politicians.
“The proposal to exclude pro-choice Catholic political leaders from the Eucharist is the wrong step,” McElroy wrote in a May 5 piece for the Jesuit magazine America. “It will bring tremendously destructive consequences—not because of what it says about abortion, but because of what it says about the Eucharist.”
“The Eucharist is being weaponized and deployed as a tool in political warfare. This must not happen,” McElroy wrote.
There has been continual controversy over this dispute in the church.
Pelosi herself spoke against Cordileone’s decision.
“This decision taking us to privacy and precedent is very dangerous in the lives of so many American people and again not consistent with the Gospel of Matthew,” she said, Fox News reported.
In his letter announcing Pelosi was barred from receiving Communion in his archdiocese, Cordileone quoted statements from Francis about abortion.
“When we fail to acknowledge as part of reality the worth of a poor person, a human embryo, a person with disabilities – to offer just a few examples – it becomes difficult to hear the cry of nature itself; everything is connected,” Francis wrote in the 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si. “Once the human being declares independence from reality and behaves with absolute dominion, the very foundations of our life begin to crumble, for ‘instead of carrying out his role as a cooperator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature.'”
Bishops have the authority to make decisions about individuals in their own jurisdictions.
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