Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi is openly pro-choice, a stance that, quite obviously, contradicts Catholic teaching. After she recently rebuffed a reporter and used her faith to defend her policy views on abortion, it seems at least one priest is calling for her to either comply with -- or renounce Catholicism.
In an open letter, Fr. Frank Pavone, national director for Priests for Life, a pro-life organization, made known his discontent with Pelosi's most recent comments about abortion.
"Last Thursday, June 13, you were asked a question in a press briefing that you declined to answer. The question was, 'What is the moral difference between what Dr. Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks and aborting her moments before birth?,'" Pavone wrote. "Instead of even attempting to answer the question, you resorted to judgmental ad hominem attacks on the reporter who asked it, saying, 'You obviously have an agenda. You're not interested in having an answer.'"
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) delivers remarks during a dedication ceremony for the new Frederick Douglass Statue in Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center, at the U.S. Capitol, on June 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. The 7 foot bronze statue of Douglass joins fellow black Americans Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Sojourner Truth on permanent display in the Capitol's Emancipation Hall. Credit: Getty Images
The priest said, though, that it is Pelosi's stance on the matter that is problematic, as she isn't interested in "giving an answer."
But that wasn't the harshest of his rebukes. Pavone went on to charge that Pelosi made a "mockery of the Catholic faith" during the press conference and that she offended millions of Americans who follow church doctrine. Here, he was referring to her claim to be a "practicing and respectful Catholic" who believes that the abortion discussion is "sacred ground."
"You speak here of Catholic faith as if it is supposed to hide us from reality instead of lead us to face reality, as if it is supposed to confuse basic moral truths instead of clarify them, and as if it is supposed to help us escape the hard moral questions of life rather than help us confront them," he continued.
"Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches. And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it's time for you to stop speaking as if it were," added the priest.
U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (2nd L) and Deborah Dingell, wife of Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) (L), gesture as they dance during a celebration recognizing Rep. Dingell as the longest-serving member in the history of the United States Congress June 13, 2013 at the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Rep. Dingell surpassed the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) to become the longest-serving member on June 7, 2013. He first entered Congress on December 13, 1955. Credit: Getty Images
At the heart of his gripe is the notion that, in his view, Pelosi has been allowed to spout ideas that are contrary to Catholic teaching, but that she seems to claim correspond with the theology. Pavone asked the congresswoman to either renounce her faith or to execute her duties as a politician in a way that corresponds with church doctrine (read the letter in its entirety).
As TheBlaze's Becket Adams previously reported, The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack caught Pelosi in some uncomfortable comments last week about late-term abortion. These curiosities are what inspired Pavone's response.
After she decried what happened in Philadelphia concerning Dr. Kermit Gosnell and his "house of horrors" abortion clinic, Pelosi told McCormack, "For [the drafters of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act] to decide to disrespect a judgment a woman makes about her reproductive health is reprehensible."
She was referring to legislation that would ban most abortions after the five-month period.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds up a photograph of slain Sandy Hook Elementary school teacher Lauren Rousseau while speaking during an event marking the six month anniversary of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting at the U.S. Capitol June 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. Friends and family members of the shooting victims joined members of Congress for a day long event to honor the 26 children and educators killed in the December shooting, and to renew calls for gun reform legislation. Credit: Getty Images
"So what’s the moral difference? I just asked a simple question. … What’s the moral difference then between 26 weeks elective abortion and killing of that same infant born alive?," the journalist pressed in response.
"As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. This shouldn’t have anything to do with politics," Pelosi then responded.