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DC archdiocese mistakenly sends reporter email showing the local archbishop will ignore Pelosi controversy

Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Archdiocese of Washington accidentally emailed a reporter on Monday its internal guidance for addressing concerns about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi receiving Holy Communion.

Pelosi's eligibility to participate in the sacrament became national news after San Fransisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone barred Pelosi from receiving Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Cordileone explained in a "letter to the faithful" that he came to the decision due to Pelosi's increasingly "extreme" pro-abortion ideology.

What are the details?

On Monday, the Washington Examiner contacted the archdiocese that governs the nation's capital and received a message meant for internal communication showing the archdiocese was ignoring inquiries about Pelosi.

"Just sharing for you to know what comes in," the email stated. "Email since Saturday, when I last checked the comms inbox has just been a couple of random people wanting to tell the Cardinal to bring down the hammer on Pelosi. Aside from Jack Jenkins at RNS, this is the only new media inquiry. It will be ignored, too."

The email was sent from the archdiocese's communications department.

In follow-up exchanges, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Washington said the archdiocese was ignoring media inquiries because the position of the archbishop, Cardinal Wilton Dalton Gregory, has not changed since he last spoke about the issue.

A subsequent email from the spokesperson said:

I apologize for the mistaken email. We have not been responding to inquiries on this topic because Cardinal Gregory's position has not changed from what he has said in the past.

Cardinal Gregory has no new comment about the issue of Catholic politicians receiving Communion. The actions of Archbishop Cordileone are his decision to make in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Cardinal Gregory has not instructed the priests of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to refuse Communion to anyone.

Last September, Gregory implied that he does not support denying Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, saying that priests should not act as "police" but as "pastors."

"We certainly have to teach the faith of the Church, we have to be true to the Church’s heritage of faith, but we also have to bring people along with us. It is not simply a matter of pointing out their errors," he said. "That’s a part of our job, but the other part is welcoming and drawing them closer to the life of the Church, and we need to do that more effectively, more publicly."

Why is this important?

Gregory's position became relevant after Pelosi reportedly received Holy Communion on Sunday.

Pelosi responded to Cordileone on Tuesday, pointing out what she believes is hypocrisy on his part.

"I wonder about the death penalty, which I’m opposed to. So is the church, but they take no actions against people who may not share their view," Pelosi said on MSNBC.

Pelosi also described Cordileone's decision — which is part of a pastor's responsibility — as "very dangerous in the lives of so many of the American people" and noted that Cordileone is "vehemently against LGBTQ rights."

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