Will Pelosi Finally Get Her Comeuppance?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., perhaps the most rabidly pro-abortion Catholic woman in Congress, has finally gotten what she deserved. Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has ratified the opinions of Canon lawyer Ed Peters. The former Speaker of the House, the Cardinal said, is not to present herself for Holy Communion.

Now, of course, the decision to obey Canon 915, which governs the reception of our Lord’s Body and Blood at the holy sacrifice of the Mass, is up to Pelosi’s bishops and priests where she lives. But the point remains the same. That woman is not eligible to present herself for Holy Communion unless and until she publicly recants her position favoring the mass murder of the unborn, and then receives absolution for that grave sin in confession.

But the more significant observation is that none of the notorious pro-abortion Catholics should receive Holy Communion, and that includes Vice President Joe Biden. He and Pelosi received Holy Communion at the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis, and they both have flat-out lied to the public about Church teaching on abortion.

An important point: Cardinal Burke is showing more concern for Pelosi and her soul than the priests and bishops who refuse to act.

What Burke Said
Burke’s spoke of Pelosi during an interview with The Catholic Servant. The newspaper asked Burke about Pelosi’s ridiculous answer to a reporter’s question about mass murderer Kermit Gosnell, who ran the infamous abattoir in Philadelphia. A reporter for The Weekly Standard asked Pelosi what the difference was between Gosnell’s crimes and other run-of-the-mill abortions, whereupon Pelsoi unbosomed this remark: “As a practicing and respectful Catholic this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. I don’t think it should have anything to do with politics.”

“How,” The Servant asked Cardinal Burke, “are we to react to such a seemingly scandalous statement?” And, the question continued, “is this a case where Canon 915 might properly be applied?” Canon 915 reads thusly: “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declarationof the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

Replied Burke:

Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied. This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin—cooperating with the crime of procured abortion—and still professes to be a devout Catholic. This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must—in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family.

What Congresswoman Pelosi is speaking of is not particular confessional beliefs or practices of the Catholic Church. It belongs to the natural moral law which is written on every human heart and which the Catholic Church obviously also teaches: that natural moral law which is so wonderfully illumined for us by Our Lord Jesus Christ by His saving teaching, but most of all by His Passion and death.

To say that these are simply questions of Catholic Faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong. I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is. I invite her to reflect upon the example of St. Thomas More who acted rightly in a similar situation even at the cost of his life.

Pelosi’s Lies
Pelosi’s declaring that either her faith or abortion are “sacred ground”—it’s hard to determine what she meant—and that abortion “should [not] have anything to do with politics,” was consistent with her other ridiculous falsehoods about Catholic teaching on abortion, which she has to know are falsehoods if she is the “practicing and respectful Catholic” she claims.

When Barack Obama was running for president in 2008, and told evangelical impresario Rick Warren that he couldn’t answer the question of when life begins because it was “above my pay grade,” Tom Brokaw asked Pelosi the same question on “Meet The Press.” Pelosi answered thusly:

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. … 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.

That was, of course, utter and complete nonsense, as Archbishop Charles Chaput noted immediately. “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is a gifted public servant of strong convictions and many professional skills,” he said. “Regrettably, knowledge of Catholic history and teaching does not seem to be one of them.” Dozens of other bishops followed Chaput’s lead.

After Pelosi propagated her scandalous falsehood, Biden performed similarly, also declaring himself as Catholic as the Pope.

Both of these politicians, of course, conflated the debate over when life begins with the debate in the early Church over ensoulment; i.e., when a human being is sufficiently developed in the womb to receive a soul. Although Catholics believe ensoulment occurs at conception, even before those debates took places many centuries ago, the earliest Fathers of the Church had already condemned abortion. So regardless of any debate over “when life begins,” the Church has always condemned abortion. Always.

Surely, as committed a Catholic as Pelosi knows this, but if she didn’t know it when she chewed the rag with Brokaw, she has had plenty of time to study up, and indeed should have known it after the bishops publicly corrected her. Thus, she has no excuse to continue saying the things she says, or to continue supporting abortion. Moreover, even if she’s clueless about the history of Church teaching, she well knows that supporting abortion is a mortal sin, and that being in a state of mortal sin bars one from Holy Communion. This, of course, means she commits a mortal sin each time she receives Our Lord, which in turn means the best thing her priests and bishops can do is stop her from receiving it.

As St. Thomas Aquinas taught us to pray, “let not this Holy Communion be to me an increase of guilt unto my punishment.”

Canon 915
Cardinal Burke’s remarks ratify the judgement of Canonist Peters, who has been writing about Pelosi for years.

In 2010, he wrote, “there is no US Catholic politician whose conduct at the national level is more stridently and widely pro-abortion (to name just one area in which Pelosi’s machinations are gravely objectionable) and whose scandalous rhetoric is more overtly Catholic (many of her bizarre assertions the bishops have had to stop and refute) than is Nancy Pelosi’s.”

If her prolonged public conduct does not qualify as obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin, then, in all sincerity, I must admit to not knowing what would constitute obstinate perseverance in manifest grave sin.

But, if I am right about the objectively evil quality of Pelosi’s public conduct, then hers should be the first case in which Canon 915 is applied.

Two years later, Pelosi’s opinion had, obviously, not changed. And neither had Peters’. He explained precisely why Canon 915 applied to Pelosi: “Canon 915, as I and others have explained many times, is not about impositions on individual conscience, it’s about public consequences for public behavior. It’s about taking people at their word and acknowledging the character of their actions. It’s about not pretending that people don’t really mean what they repeatedly say and what they repeatedly do.”

Enter Cardinal Burke, who explained something else about abortion that is crucial to understanding it. Abortion is not an odious crime because the Church says it is. It is not a grave evil because the Church teaches against it. The prohibition of abortion is not merely a discipline of the Church, such as meatless Fridays or clerical celibacy. Abortion is a moral outrage because murder trespasses the natural law. As with stealing, adultery, fornication, lying and other violations of the Ten Commandments, abortion is morally unacceptable for all human beings. The prohibition against abortion, which is willful murder, violates the law God implanted in us all. It is one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.

In speaking of Canon 915, a priest told me, the language used is important. “I always speak of obeying Canon 915, rather than applying Canon 915. The reason is that denial of Communion is not a penalty, so if a priest denies [Holy] Communion to Pelosi, he is not applying a penalty to her. He is, instead, obeying the Church’s mandate against committing sacrilege and giving scandal.”

And, the priest said, members of the hierarchy speak of a “penalty” vis-a-vis Canon 915 because “if it’s a penalty, then he has discretion about whether to ‘apply’ the penalty.” Such a priest or bishop would “assiduously pretend that it is not a mandate, which binds him under pain of mortal sin.”

So, a key point in understanding Canon 915: Obeying it is not a matter of choice. A bishop or priest must always protect our Lord’s Body and Blood from sacrilege and scandal.

Why This Is So Important
Yet the cardinal’s remarks are less important for what they say, which most Catholics know, than what they can accomplish. American prelates have been reluctant to impose penalties upon the renegades who scandalize the Faithful not only by telling lies about Catholic teaching and misleading Catholics, as Pelosi and Biden have, but also by unworthily receiving Holy Communion. It is a bishop’s and priest’s duty to refuse Holy Communion to politicians such as Pelosi; and such a refusal has nothing to do, as heterodox or unschooled Catholics and even some bishops say, with using the Eucharist as a weapon. Speculation abounds about the reasons no one has stopped Pelosi. Not least among them is the fear of losing federal subsidies to Catholic charities.

Whatever the answer, the good Cardinal’s clear admonition can provide cover for any American prelate to do the right thing, as Archbishop Joseph Naumann did with Kathleen Sebelius. They can blame it on the highest juridical authority in the Church. Cardinal Burke is in a sense, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Holy Mother Church.

The question is whether the orthodox faithful, who are increasingly frustrated at what Pelosi, Biden and the rest are getting away with, can expect action from the American Catholic hierarchy. It should be obvious that all Catholics, and most especially priests and bishops, are obliged to protect the Holy Sacrifice at the altar. Indeed, canon law requires a priest to deny Holy Communion to those such as Pelosi. Thus, Pelosi isn’t the only one who commits a sin when she receives. Any priest who gives her Holy Communion violates canon law. Canon 914 instructs a priest thusly: “It is for the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach holy communion.” And then there’s 915.

As canonist Peters wrote when Pelosi and Biden received Holy Communion at Pope Francis’ inaugural Mass, “Nancy Pelosi will not change on her own.”

It is obvious that, if left to her own lights, she will never mend her ways. For her sake, therefore, and for those confused by the chronic scandal she gives, Pelosi needs to be formally warned against taking Holy Communion for so long as she promotes, as consistent with our Catholic faith, a variety of gravely immoral policies (per cc. 916, 1339); ministers, meanwhile, in her environs need to be directed to withhold Communion from her till advised otherwise by the competent ecclesiastical authority.

One would think Cardinal Burke is a competent ecclesiastical authority, depending on how one defines those terms, and Peters reminds us of an important aspect of the Canon 915 debate. The canons that govern the reception of Holy Communion aren’t merely intended to protect Our Lord. They are also meant to protect the would-be communicant from eternal damnation by receiving Our Lord unworthily. Thus, if Pelosi’s shepherds in the Church continue to permit her to waltz up the aisle to receive Holy Communion, they are not only subjecting our Lord to profanation by one of the most despicable Catholics in the country, but also encouraging Pelosi to commit a sin that will send her to Hell.

If those competent ecclesiastical authorities want to give Pelosi the pastoral care she needs, they must stop her from receiving Communion in the hope that she will reconcile with the Church and return to the fold of the faithful. If they don’t, and she continues what she is doing, God may well judge them accessories in her sin and hold them partly responsible for the disposition of her soul.

R. Cort Kirkwood


R. Cort Kirkwood is a journalist who has been writing about politics and culture for 25 years. He is a graduate of Boston University and Loyola College in Baltimore and the author of Real Men: Ten Courageous Americans To Know And Admire.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    “Although Catholics believe ensoulment occurs at conception…”

    No doubt many do, but the Church has studiously refrained from pronouncing on the question. In its 1987 Instruction, Donum Vitae, the CDF says, “The Magisterium has not expressly committed itself to an affirmation of a philosophical nature, but it constantly reaffirms the moral condemnation of any kind of procured abortion. This teaching has not been changed and is unchangeable”

    As Catholic philosopher and pro-life activist, Miss Anscombe pointed out, in the case of monozygotic twinning, “Neither of the two humans that eventually develop can be identified the same human as the zygote, because they can’t both be so, as they are different humans from one another.” This is a problem with the transivity of identity. If A were identical to both B and C, then—by the transitivity of identity—B and C would be identical to each other; which is absurd. Of course, this philosophical conundrum has no bearing on the morality of abortion. As Miss Anscombe noted, the zygote is a “living individual whole whose life is—all going well—to be the life of one or lives of more than one human being,” but it does have a bearing on the question of ensoulment.

    • Augustus

      Elizabeth Anscombe was married to the philosopher Peter Geach. She simply kept her maiden name.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        She was one of my tutors at Oxford, where she was always known as “Miss Anscombe.” She published as “G E M Anscombe” (Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret) but used “Elizabeth” socially.

        She and the other Philosophy fellow at Somerville, Philippa Foot, collaborated in reviving “virtue ethics” on Aristotelian lines, although Miss Anscombe was a Catholic and Miss Foot an atheist. Miss Foot, by the by, was a granddaughter of President Grover Cleveland; her mother, Esther, was born in the White House. I had a couple of tutorials with her, in Miss Anscombe’s absence.

        For my money, Miss Anscombe’s “Intention” is one of the most important philosophical works of the 20th century and is foundational to action theory.

        • NewCatholic08

          Wow, how could she have seven children and a distinguished career. I thought it had been proved by modern thought and practice that it had to be “either/or” but not “both/and”… certainly not both. If a woman can have both then she wouldn’t need abortion… something must be wrong… I don’t get it…

          • Catholic_Mom_of_6


          • Michael Paterson-Seymour

            When Miss Anscombe was pregnant with her seventh child, she entered the lecture theatre to find that someone had written “Anscombe breeds” on the blackboard. This passed for wit amongst the jeunesse dorée of Oxford.

            Miss Anscombe picked up the chalk, wrote on the blackboard, turned to the lectern and began her lecture. The sign on the blackboard now read “Anscombe breeds immortal beings.”

            • NewCatholic08

              I knew there was something very wrong with her. See, she didn’t file an harassment lawsuit. There must be something neanderthalish about her.

              • Billiamo

                Ha! Mary Daly she wasn’t.

            • Ruth Rocker

              Hurray for her!!! Wit and approbation in one fell swoop 😀

    • tamsin

      My monozygotic twins are sometimes asked “who was born first?” but never “who got the soul?”

      Each appears to have a functioning soul. But appearances can be deceiving…

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour


        Miss Anscombe, who had a dry sense of humour, entitled her paper, “Were you a zygote?”

  • catholicmelanie

    Melissa Gates (wife of Bill Gates) next? I am a Canadian. The leader of the federal Liberal party in Canada, Justin Trudeau (son of deceased former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau) is Catholic and pro-choice. Please pray for him. Sorry that I don’t have an e-mail or other address for him – I am new to using a computer and this is my first post. If I can find one, I will post again. I would be grateful for the help from other readers.

  • catholicmelanie

    justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca or justin.ca Mailing Address – Parliament Hill
    Justin Trudeau, M.P.
    Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
    House of Commons
    Ottawa, ON
    K1A 0A6
    phone number 1-613-995-8872

  • tom

    Isn’t Pelousy excommunicated? Why’s Wuerl allow that Trinity girls’ school for pro-abortion to even stay open after it ms-educated both Pelosi and Finnegan-Sebelius? Didn’t he lead prayers at the grave of Teddy, too? Now, that’s a tap-dancing cardinal!

  • AcceptingReality

    I really thing the discussion should be broadened to include more than just the nationally known political candidates. I assume the Canon applies to Bishops, Priests and Laity who habitually and knowingly vote for candidates who support abortion. The political leanings of some clergy and laity are widely known within their parishes. Yet they continue to receive. The bumper stickers in the parking lot can be quite revealing. I know of both laity and clergy whose ability to “separate their faith from their politics” is made into an art form in which great pride is taken. The discussion needs be had. But it’s gotten so PC out there that silence on such topics is the norm in many Catholic groups at the local level. The mere mention of the “Five Non-negotiables for Catholic Voters” can draw the ire of one’s peers.

  • Florin S.

    Oct. 1st…Nancy Pelosi said the reason she continues to receive Holy Communion is because the American Bishops are divided on this issue; Card. Dolan said he would never refuse the Eucharist to anyone because that would ‘politicize’ the Eucharist; Card. Wuerl has said he will not refuse the Eucharist to anyone because he won’t use it as a ‘weapon’…Pelosi not only supports the mass killing of the unborn, but she publicly and aggressively urges everyone to stand against the Church and the Bishops on this issue saying they are not in keeping with modern times. As for ‘politicizing’ the Body and Blood of Christ, to refuse to following Church teaching on this is to ‘politicize’ the Eucharist; after Card. Dolan had spoken to Andrew Cuomo about his live-in mistress and his promotion of abortion, Cuomo became even more rabid and publicly shouted out to his crowd of female followers: “Your body, your choice!! Your body, your choice!” Allowing these Catholics to believe that what they are doing is not so bad is to affirm them in the grave evil they are engaged in and thereby deny them the catalyst for conversion; and it confuses Catholics and encourages those who promote the mass killing of the unborn…and so millions of babies continue to be exterminated in the womb…and the ‘generals’ leading the charge are Catholic!!! How very tragic!

    • Micha_Elyi

      Why do so few Catholics keep the Sunday mass obligation? Why are so many of the sheep scattered?


      • slainte

        Spirit of Vatican II Bishops, priests, and cardinals,

        • Adam__Baum

          I’m pretty sure the laity plays some role in this. There’s the bunch that chooses shopping, football or sleeping off the Saturday party instead of Mass.

          I remember some years ago, the now Emeritus BIshop of the Diocese where I grew up objecting to the occurrence of a concert on Good Friday. The local newspaper (a very hostile force in the area) host innumerable opinions from the who is he to tell us that crowd. You know, the same people that contracept and throw a crumpled dollar bill in the basket and then complain when Churches close.

          • slainte

            People gravitate toward pleasure and away from duty and obligation., an unfortunate reality. Prayer and mass attendance fall into the duty and obligation category for most children.
            Nevertheless, to retore the Family to its proper role, Clergy and Parents are obliged to partner together to ensure that children are properly catechized (even if this means rote teaching and rote learning of the Rosary, the Ten Commandments, the Nicene Creed, the Virtues and Vices, why we exist, etc.). Likewise, Clergy and Parents, in partnership, also must ensure that children attend mass (even if the children protest and the clergy must take attendance at mass). Moms and Dads should attend mass together with their children as examples.
            Acts repeatedly practiced by children become habits and catechetical lessons repeatedly taught and learned by children become the foundational bases for a moral and virtuous citizenry, the factual predicate for the restoration of a moral society and government.
            The hands that rock the cradles rule the world.

  • catholic in exile

    Ms. Pelosi is shaking in her boots.

    • makalu

      She will when she dies w/o repentance…

    • tamsin

      As she wraps her Hermes scarf more tightly about her shoulders.

  • Ramon Antonio

    Excellent article!

    However, there’s a point that needs direct answer. First of all I’m Catholic and oppose abortion AND ALSO OPPOSE RIGHT TO CHOOSE! And I think those are two different things and that’s my point.

    What Mrs Pelosi can be criticized about is that she doesn’t oppose right to choose of the mother which is the civil interpretation of law that sustains abortion, i.e., the interpretation that the woman has a personal right to end the pregnancy process based on the fact that it’s her body. And that, as erroneous religiously as it is or for others may be, is a civil rights interpretation of law. And I think that the canon 915 application has not been clearly applied to that precise situation. The interpretation of canon 915, even by cannonists is not clearly focused and it needs to be. If cannonists and clergy are to apply the canon and recommend that any public person better not present to Communion, which decision I respect as a Catholic, it better be applied for the correct reason.

    The real question to us as Catholics is to examine if we have not failed miserably in adequately evaluating this complex issue and taking corrective action based on the clear cut situation. One thing is to perform and defend the abortion per se. Another is to defend an erroneous policy interpretation of rights. And my question is, does the Church reserves the right to interpret a civil right to a society and excomunicate or deny participation in sacraments on the basis of a civil interpretation by a Catholic? Or does the Church must focus on defending the right decision by the people against an erroneous interpretation of a civil right? Are we not as Church in fact acting against civil power based on religious interpretation? Then, is the Catholic Church de facto defining that any Catholic in public service must absolutely follow Church interpretation of civil law at the risk of being penalized?

    • Ruth Rocker

      She has put herself in this position by claiming over and over again to be a faithful, devout Catholic and they, by talking out of the other side of her face, decrying Church teaching as not in keeping with the times, to put it mildly. You cannot support a mother’s right to choose to kill her baby and not support abortion. They are one and the same thing – saying anything else is just plain lying.

      The Church isn’t trying to force itself onto anyone. But if she claims to be a “card carrying” member in good standing, it’s not unreasonable to expect her to behave both publicly and privately in such a fashion that her church membership isn’t in any doubt.

      Pick one – your faith or your politics. In this case, you can’t have both.

  • Ramon Antonio

    Just to be more precise in my previous comment. Are we as Catholics not acting as Islamist’s if we follow Card. Burke interpretation? Is he not acting as an Iman by urging civil actions based on religion?

    I fully oppose abortion. I am totally sure that abortion is the real cause of this society’s malaise. But I don’t think that Mrs. Pelosi must be penalized if she clearly states that what she defends a civil interpretation of law that has the effect to permit abortion. The wrong she committing, if I am to judge, is to let a woman decide on a life that is independent of that woman’s body. But the abortion is performed by the woman, by the abortionist and by the society that defines in civil law that the woman has that right. A Catholic that decides to endorse that civil interpretation is morally wrong and religiously wrong but should not be treated as a religious state such as Islam acts for then Catholicism becomes another Islam. And that we are not. That is not the Church that Jesus founded.

    • Adam Baum

      Is he not acting as an Iman by urging civil actions based on religion?
      That is the most illogiical analogy I’ve seen. If Pelosi was subject to Sharia, she’d have have had a fatwa issued a long time ago, even if she sheepishly donned the veil as she did when travelling to the Middle East, when she was weilding that novelty gavel as speaker.
      She is separating herself, not the Cardinal. He’s merely recognizing it.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Are you not being a freemason by denying The Church her rightful place as guardian of public morality?

    • tamsin

      Yes, I think it is helpful to compare what we are asking of our civil law, and how we ask for it, with what Muslims hope to accomplish by the imposition of sharia, in order to avoid traps being laid for us by those who seek to end all “religious” witness in the public square.

      In the meantime, it would be nice if Pelosi, playing a Catholic on TV, could refrain from using phrases like “[church teaching] shouldn’t have an impact” or “I don’t think [church teaching] should have anything to do with politics.”

    • Valentin

      Believe it or not the Church holds Christ as the king and if a civil leader leads us somewhere bad (or attempts to) Christ is the master we follow and if Nanci Pelosi is not going to be in line with God than than she is not in line with Christ’s Church. The Church is not ruled by democratic leaders The Church is the Bride of Christ and as such she does not take orders from schmucks.

      • Ramon Antonio

        In no way I’m even infering that we or anyone should follow Nancy Peloai as a Catholic leader. And I agree that the right to kill an unborn child does not belong to any woman simply because its a homicide. The problem is that our definition of homicide for an unborn child is religious and the legal definition is not in line with us. The problem is that a politician is elected to make civil laws and not to enforce Catholic doctrine.

        It is up to us as Church to discern what belongs to the Caesar and what belongs to God. In this case, the life belongs clearly to God according to our doctrine but our doctrine is not civil law. Then, the decision to question a politician’s faith is not a simple one but a very complex one. And the definition will have consequences. Which action by the Church reflects love? That’s the question…

        And remember Pope Francis… The Church IS NOT Cardinal Burke. The Church is us altogether. Cardinal Burke is part of the Church, a leader of the Church, but not the ultimate authority. He can be wrong. My question is… Is he?

        • Valentin

          My problem is people acting as though the civil elections take precedence over what is right and we are certain that striking someone down (murder) is not right because god who is all knowing told us so, and no matter how many people disagree it will not and does not change what is good like I said before the Church is not a democracy and if we are not in line and with God than there is something wrong, and while it is possible for a Cardinal to be wrong Cardinal Burke in this case as well as many other cases is right because Pelosi is in favor of and promotes something which is contrary to God and if she were to attempt to receive the body of Christ while contrary to Christ than you end up with something sacrilegious whether she understands this or not. As I said before Christ explicitly said that you can’t serve two masters and that if one is not with him they are against him and Mrs. Pelosi should show at the very least some respect for Christ and recognize her position in relation to Christ and his Bride The Holy Catholic Church.

        • Valentin

          Ramon I am not trying to bash you I am simply trying to explain why the Catholic Church is the arbiter of who receives holy communion as opposed to the state or public opinion. I want to keep an open mind here and consider whether it’s a mistake to allow secularists to make civil decisions about morality, society, and culture.

          • Ramon Antonio

            The question of …”whether it’s a mistake to allow secularists to make civil decisions about morality, society and culture…” goes right to the crux of the matter. Democracy, as we know it, is just that. Secularists make the decision.
            It’s up to us as a Church to counter their secular view with sound arguments, civil action and foremost PRAYER. And I think we have failed miserably in all 3 aspects. We don’t have good and complete arguments, we don’t act or defend civil rights we have nor we educate women to respect the independent life they bear and we don’t pray.
            Then, over these ample failure, we think that by denying a political leader Communion over a theory by the hairs we comply with Jesus.
            The Centurion was a killer because that is what a Centurion was. And that is why he said to Jesus that his house was not fit for Him to go. And he was praised by Jesus as having the greatest faith in Israel. Zaqueus was a corrupt businessman and Jesus brought salvation TO HIS HOME by getting in it.
            When are we going to READ the Gospel as it is? Who are we to deny Communion over an incomplete and possibly and probably faulty interpretation of issues?

            • Desert Sun Art

              As a Catholic and a secular politician, Pelosi has failed miserably to counter the secular view with sound arguments, civil action and prayer. If she would truly uphold her faith, she would not be imposing Church teaching on society, but, using sound arguments, and voting for pro-life legislation, she could make every effort to change society’s view that abortion is a right.

              • Ramon Antonio

                I think you are right. That should be her duty. However, why that is not part of the discussion to her? Why she is not confronted with that duty as a Catholic?
                I think these are the right questions to her. The issue of Communion then, becomes a personal situation and not a public debate to force authority upon politicians. Why the Cardinal doesn’t defend our faith with this arguments and resorts to use quasi Inquisitorial power as a show of force? This is what I call acting as an Iman.
                Thanks to all for the enlightening exchange and the author for his excellent choice of issue.

            • Desert Sun Art

              When are we going to READ the Gospel as it is? And who decides that we are reading the Gospel as it is? Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of what the Gospel means. Look at the Protestants. So many denominations and splinter churches because they each have their own idea of what it means to live the Gospel and follow Christ.

              That is why, as Catholics, we have the Church and the Magisterium. The Church claims to have the sole authority to correctly interpret Scripture, and it makes sense that the Holy Spirit, would direct one central authority since obviously, as individuals we are all over the map on this. And, it was the Catholic Church that decided finally what books would constitute the Gospels and the rest of the Bible.

              • Adam__Baum

                “Look at the Protestants. So many denominations and splinter churches because they each have their own idea of what it means to live the Gospel and follow Christ. ”

                It’s worth noting that Protestantism isn’t just divided, it’s intrinsically factious (and fractious). Supposedly Martin Luther himself made some comment about as many doctrines as there are heads.

            • Valentin

              The Holy Communion is The Body and Blood of Christ and whether or not a priest or cardinal thinks it is a political tool there are certain people who should not receive The Holy Communion if someone is a high profile person and does and supports something which clearly is contrary to Christ than it is easy too see that for their own sake they should not receive Communion. Who are you referring to when you say “we”? as far as I can tell from my own experience there are plenty of people who are willing to do things despite my arguments explaining why they shouldn’t. By the way I do pray every day so I am not sure who you are referring to because most baptized catholics in the US and Germany do not act very Catholic and are secularists some of whom are anticatholic such as my own mother and pretending that good and faithful Catholics should be smooshed with the weak poorly educated secularists who happen to at one point have been Catholic is not right. I have seen people down right reject reason itself as a primary importance so don’t think that the moment someone is given the truth the anyone and everyone will accept it one very poignant example is Our Lady of Fatima where plenty of people looking to disprove the Portuguese children who saw her ran away in fright when she appeared. My point is that after the truth is shown it is up to the will of the people listening to make a decision.

            • Valentin

              Cardinal Burke being entrusted in the lineage from Peter is right in denying someone who is not in a state of grace holy communion. It is not so much about politics as much as actual morality as opposed to merely intentions. Who is the “we” that you are talking about any way? The faithful Catholics that I know personally including myself do argue with reason and do pray and most “civil actions” end up thwarted due to popularity being favored over reason by almost everyone else, in my experience have heard people who I know and try to talk to who are anticatholic who point blank did not think that reason truth and beauty were that important so before you point fingers at faithful Catholics (I hope you are one yourself) and Cardinals who are simply showing fatherly love take moment and think about whether it is right for an accomplice and supplier of a murder system to recieve the body of Christ. Yes Nanci Pelosi supports abortion and whether she thinks it’s murder or not it is still a sin.

        • jcsmitty

          Cardinal Burke is teaching what the church teaches. The Church IS the ultimate authority on faith and morals. If he is wrong then the church is wrong and we can all be our own pope and see what God has to say about it during the particular judgment.

    • Valentin

      The difference between an Imam and Cardinal Burke is that Cardinal Burke is right and a Cardinal doesn’t slice a man’s head off for leaving the Church. Cardinal Burke is simply acknowledging the truth namely that Mrs. Pelosi isn’t in a state of grace, by the way a woman does not have a “right” to murder her own child inside the womb or out of the womb no matter how much pain she endures.

    • jcsmitty

      What “civil actions” is Cardinal Burke urging? Last I heard our bishops have a duty to instruct us in faith and morals so as to look out for our souls. When the apostles were told to obey the Roman authorities in defiance of God’s laws, they said they first had to obey God and not man. We still have to put God’s laws before that of man-made ones. Pelosi certainly can continue on her pro-abortion agenda, but she can’t say she hasn’t been warned that her soul is in grave danger as a result.

  • jhmdeuce

    Nothing will happen.

    • John200

      I will say the opposite — Plenty will happen. You just have to wait patiently until it is manifest.

      Be patient, it pays off.

      • Kathy

        I hope you are right, John200!

  • Taylor

    The logical extension of this absurdity is to deny communion to vast swathes of people. How about those who publicly oppose universal healthcare, thus causing death and misery? Or who support same sex marriage? Or who don’t support same sex marriage because of CCC 2358? Heck, why doesn’t the church just deny communion to EVERYONE?

    • Adam Baum

      Why don’t we just all receive “unworthily”.

    • TheodoreSeeber

      Some of us are still in communion with Rome.

    • Bob

      And that’s the rub. If someone meets the three requirements of mortal sin ( grave matter, knowledge by the individual that the action is gravely sinful, and the decision to commit the sin anyway), they should make the conscious decision not to take communion. It’s not up to the priest to play cop at the altar rail, but for the individual Catholic in a state of mortal sin to refrain.

      I think Catholics like Pelosi who obstaninately defy Church teaching, the Eucharist really is not that important to them. For who would so disrespect Christ’s Real Presence if it was the absolute source and center of their life?

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour


        Yet Canon 915 provides that “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”

        • Bob


          Frankly, this is all so sad. There is nothing, nothing more important in the world than The Eucharist, Christ’s body and blood, soul and divinity. I hold no ill will towards Congresswoman Pelosi but, please, Nance! Come to your senses! If a Cardinal for Rome told me “Bob….because of your unrepentant sins, you cannot receive Jesus.” That would be the bolt of lighting to my head that I would need.

          Pray for Pelosi…..pray for all of us to do an honest examination of conscience.

    • Valentin

      Look I don’t cause death by not sending a package of food to India for someone I don’t know who needs it, plus there is a difference between generous gifts and communist or socialist theft and distribution.

    • John200

      Dear Taylor,
      There is nothing absurd about denying communion to heretics; such denial might save their souls. The pleasures of correcting the Church, false and nonexistent as they are, have messed up your thinking.

      You can enjoy paganism and its rewards, if they exist (they don’t), or move to the truth. I suggest you move to the truth pronto.

      RCIA is the way forward, my young friend (yes, it is obvious that you are young). RCIA.

    • Daren C

      You should read the very next paragraph. CCC 2359 “Homosexual persons are called to chastity.” I don’t think you can make the claim that the catechism demands us to be in support of same sex so-called marriage.

  • grzybowskib

    Gee whiz, if Biden is as Catholic as Pope Francis, as he claims to be, you’d think that he would agree with Pope Francis’s views. But he doesn’t. HMMMM. I WONDER WHAT’S GOING ON HERE. *EPIC SARCASM*

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Unfortunately- it is the *least* competent authority, not the most, that has final say in this. Pray for good bishops to be appointed in Washington, DC and California.

  • Howard Kainz

    The Kennedys and the Shrivers met with Catholic priests and theologians for two days in Hyannisport in 1964. The Hyannisport meeting was meant to salve the doubts of politicians whether they could support abortion. They received a green light. In the aftermath of this meeting, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and other Catholic politicians changed their position regarding abortion. If there is to be excommunication, the guilty parties are primarily dissenting theologians. Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden are simply following their lead.

    • John O’Neill

      Father Drinan, now deceased, was the Jesuit Theologian from Boston College who gave the green light to his rich democrat friends and told them that they could be good Catholics and pro abortion at the same time. He also subsequently became a member of the House of Representatives for Boston. All the priests who follow Drinan’s pro abortion theological theories ought to be excommunicated also. There are hundred of active Catholic priest in the country who avidly support Ms Pelosi and her politics; maybe they should be told to form their own American Church which would worship at the grave of Ted Kennedy, their god.

      • Cormac_mac_Airt

        Drinan was a law professor at BC Law School. He was never a theologian. Since he had an unrivaled snout for power and it’s practitioners, it’s likely he was involved in bringing together a group of sophistical Jesuit theologians to spin the theological fictions.

      • John200

        Good points, but in your summary conclusion, you missed the target (not by much!).

        They should worship Moloch, their god. Pack of pagans.

    • Art Deco

      If I am not mistaken, Sargent Shriver never caved on the abortion question. Edward Kennedy did, but ca. 1978, not 1964.

      • Cormac_mac_Airt

        These strategy sessions with debased Jesuits did not result in an immediate change of public political positions. The abortion movement was just beginning to attack abortion prohibitions on the state level.The ground was not set for a nationalized abortion debate. However, the Left was already positioning itself for the nationalization of the abortion issue. The cowardly Kennedys and their ilk were reading the tea leaves and preparing for their move towards a total abandonment of a Roman Catholic ethos in public life, a move prefigured by Jack’s cowardly speech to the Texas Baptists in 1960.

    • Cormac_mac_Airt

      Richard Cardinal Cushing, the Archbishop of Boston (and Old Joe Kennedy’s favorite prelate and receiver of mucho Old Joe payoffs), was central in this debasement of the Faith. He also let it be known (before the issuance of Humanae Vitae) that Catholic prohibition on contraception would soon be abandoned and that lay Catholics need not bring it up in the confessional. He also praised the marriage of Jackie Kennedy to divorced Aristotle Onassis. In a similar fashion I don’t see the current Bishop of Rome endangering his rules minimalism and cosy-ing up to the World by supporting Cardinal Burke.

    • Ruth Rocker

      I disagree completely with this. While the clerical authorities bear the brunt of the blame in this, it is up to the individual to search their own conscience and comport themselves with the dignity inherent with Catholic teaching. The excuse of “just following orders” didn’t work at Neuremburg and it shouldn’t cover this either!

    • Adam__Baum

      The very fact that they could summon them for a private consultation was a problem.

  • Bob

    I think that one of the reasons Burke had to say something is Pelosi always starts a statement with “I’m Catholic”….and then ” and I believe abortion, contraception, gay marriage, (fill sin in the blank) is OK.”

    • tom

      Which cardinal will be offering her prayers at her grave and how much will her family have to pay for the “holy” send off and show? O’Malley would know. How much did he shake off the Kennedy fortune? Then, the suicide of one of the wives followed. There’s a connection Mr. Cardinal O’Malley, isn’t there, between your velvet glove concern for Teddy and the death of a decent Catholic mom?

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  • Fr. John Higgins

    This is as close to excommunication as the Church gets without a public pronouncement. She’s probably already acted in such a way that she’s incurred automatic excommunication. She needs our prayers and we need to accept that she’s a lot like Eve in the Garden, deciding that she knows better than God and His Church.

    • John200

      I think Mrs. Pelosi has already incurred excommunication, and incurred it many years ago. The objectionable action is the trigger, and the culprit does not need to wait until a bishop notices it or makes a public pronouncement. She is excomm, even without a public proclamation of same.

      The public pronouncement is not necessary for excommunication to occur. It merely informs the public of what Mrs. Pelosi did to herself long ago. One hopes to prevent scandal. The point here is to prevent others from following her path, and ending up where she has pointed herself.

      • Michael Paterson-Seymour

        John 200 is right that a sentence is not necessary for excommunication to occur, but no one is obliged to refrain from communicating with another in the reception or administration of the sacraments except when the sentence or censure shall have been published or made known by the judge in special and express form, against some certain, specified person (Ad Evitanda Scandala, Council of Constance 1418)

        Refusal of communion under c 915 is a quite different matter. It is not a penalty at all, but intended to prevent profanation and scandal.

    • slainte

      Father, If one is excommunicated by one’s actions/sins but is not formally excommunicated by the Church, is confession and penance sufficient to restore the individual to good standing in the Church?

      • slainte

        Anyone? How does one reverse an Ex-Communication caused by an act (ie., abortion)? Is confession and penance sufficient?

  • Valentin

    Frighteningly enough I know a priest who got in a bit of trouble with his diocese probably because he denied Holy Communion to one of the Biden’s (many of whom are involved with politics in Delaware and are wealthy enough to tempt a bishop or get cozy with one in terms of political propaganda). There are some bishops that need to look up to Cardinal Burke and man up.

  • Ramon Antonio

    I think that the broad discussion of ideas and reactions to this column is testament to the complexity of the situation provoked by the Church authorities to muscle their point of view because of the ranking of the person involved. And IF it ends being a reasonable position I might endorse it.

    However, my point is that the line of reasoning and justification is out of focus and that causes a serious problem because if we accept the decision merely by “being with the Church” we are in fact acting as the Pope recently noted that Catholics are not to follow the Vatican or the Curia but Jesus teaching of love. So, if the curia wants to flex its muscle as “defenders of the faith”, and they may be that, its better that whatever they defend is correctly defined and solidly grounded on dogma and doctrine. If not, we are in fact guided by Imans of the Catholic Church.

    Finally, doesn’t prohibition of receiving Communion equals to a fatwa in Catholic terms? I think its the Catholic version. And if it is, it is bad.

    • Desert Sun Art

      Whaaaat?! I think you misunderstood Pope Francis. If by Vatican you/he means the Magisterium, the teaching authority of the Church, we are most certainly expected to follow it. The Church was given to us by Jesus to protect and proclaim the Truth. It is guided by the Holy Spirit when teaching on matters of faith and morals. When we try to follow “Jesus(sic) teaching of love” on our own, we come up with our own ideas of what that means, and from my experience and observance of that, most of the time we have it wrong.

      An excommunication, btw, is not the “curia flexing its muscles” . It is merciful. A person in Pelosi’s situation, by being obstinate and public in her support for abortion, incurs further damage to her soul by receiving the Eucharist. The purpose of the excommunication, if you fully read the article, is to deter a person from committing grave sin or to call them to conversion, a change of heart and then to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

      • Adam__Baum

        “curia flexing its muscles”

        No prejudice in that phrase, huh?

        • Desert Sun Art

          Um, if you look, I put that phrase in quotes because I was replying to and quoting Ramon. I did not use that term myself.

          • Adam__Baum

            I was refering to Ramon’s original usage, my apologies for the lack of specificity and clarity.

            • Desert Sun Art

              Fair enough. You replied to me so it was rather confusing.

    • Adam__Baum

      Finally, doesn’t prohibition of receiving Communion equals to a fatwa in Catholic terms? I think its the Catholic version.

      No, and I don’t appreciate your appropriation of my distinction as an illogical analogy.

      • Ramon Antonio

        Sorry to make you feel that I apropriated something that you feel your own. My mistake.
        But I think Pope Francis is adressing this kind of issues directly. The Church is not a collection of dogmas and procedures. Its a Church, an assembly of followers of Jesus. And furthermore, it is His Church, not ours nor that of the curia. We all are the Church and we all have to devise ways to live in communion rather than go to Communion.

        • Adam__Baum

          Do you work at a call center? They like to attribute dissatification to “feelings” as well. “Oh sir, I’m sorry you feel that way about our service”-don’t read that script.

          It’s not a tactic I put up with-you took a clear distinction and conflated the concepts.

          There is a place for public censure-especially when the their is defiant public obstinance. There is a clear injunction in the Bible against receiving “unworthily”.

          1 Cor. 11:26-29,
          “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the
          Lord’s death until He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or
          drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the
          body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and
          so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and
          drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the
          body rightly.”

          • Ramon Antonio

            My fault!
            Excuse me!

  • AnthonyMa

    I’m not sure Mrs. Pelosi should be denied Holy Communion. She has not had an abortion, she has not committed abortion and she was not responsible for the Supreme Court decision in 1972. She’s plainly wrong, but is that enough to deny her? Or excommunicate her? As a high ranking government official I think maybe it should fall to the Pope to make this decision. The obvious thing for those of us who know abortion is the equivalent of child sacrifice, is to work to elect pro-life leaders and to educate young women on the scientifically proven fact that life begins at conception.

    • John200

      What you are not sure of, you can become sure of, in a matter of a few hours at most. First, reread the article. Then read Canon 915. If these expedients do not bring you out of your doubts, then read the Catechism.

      This plan of reading is dispositive of the topic. Then you will be sure. Congratulations (in advance) on resolving all these unpleasant doubts.

    • Ramon Antonio

      Totally agree.

    • Bob

      PLEASE READ: the Catholic Catechism’s #1868 on the cooperation with sin and evil. It will answer your question.

    • Adam__Baum

      she was not responsible for the Supreme Court decision in 1972.

      Nor has she challenged it. Believe it or not, the Court is not supposed to be a sercessionist branch of government. You notice how fast Roberts rolled last year when Obama and Leahy issued their no so subtle threats to diminish the power of Court?

      No drop believes it’s responsible for the flood.

  • Ray Barra

    She is scum like the rest of the government swine.

  • Ruth Rocker

    This is a very hopeful sign. Maybe, at long last, someone in the USCCB has grown a pair and stood up to say enough is enough! Every public figure from top to bottom who claims to be a faithful Catholic and spouts nonsense and sinful speech in direct opposition to the teachings of the Church should be subject to Canon 915. If they persist in their sin, they should be excommunicated and sent to the nearest Protestant church. Since they’re aiming their souls directly towards hell with their behavior, they may as well have company on the trip.

    If it is so difficult for you to reconcile your beliefs with your actions, you need to give up one or the other. Act like a grown up and make a decision. I pray for everyone in this position that they make the eternally correct one (but I have serious doubts about it happening).

    • guest

      Ruth, Be careful about assigning people to hell. That’s called judging; it’s not your job. Also, where do you get the idea all our Protestant brothers and sisters are going to hell? This is not the teaching of the Magisterium, because they too have the Holy Spirit, as declared by Vatican II. Catholics do not have a monopoly on the Holy Spirit. I wonder if you have any Protestant relatives or friends? I detect a note of hatred; put some love in your heart; become a new person in Christ, as Pope Francis often exhorts us to. That’s the point of Christianity.

      • Ruth Rocker

        I am basing my statement on the teaching of the Church. It is my understanding that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic church and that Protestants of all denominations are worshiping a Jesus they made up since all of them were created by a man rather than by Our Lord. I also base my statement on the fact that the Church teaches that willful continuation in sin leads to Hell. I’m not judging, I’m relying on the statements of the Church.

        I have many friends and family members who are Catholic whom I try regularly to see the error of their ways. I don’t care much for the thought that they are condemning themselves to Hell because of their willful sin of rejecting the church established by Jesus. But since God gave them free will, there isn’t much I can do. I don’t hate anyone and if that was the tone you got out of my post, I’m sorry. It was more a sense of resignation since Mrs. Pelosi refuses to change her ways.

        • guest

          You are wrong about what the church teaches on salvation. The magisterium teaches that Jesus is not the only way, but the best way. All religions contain at least some of the truth, by which others who don’t know the fullness of truth may be saved. Our God is all merciful, as well as all just. The bishops have been clear on this. You obviously derive satisfaction out of pitching that most people will not be saved, as most people of the world are not Roman Catholic. By the way, Roman C. are not the only Catholics in the world. Ask yourself why you are so condemning. By the way, are you Christian? I think you need to work on your own soul before those of your friends and family.

          • Ruth Rocker

            Where does one find the weapons-grade drugs to believe this? Quoting from the Catholic Catechism:

            “Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it. (CCC 846)”

            Anyone calling themselves “Christian” and not believing that salvation comes only from Jesus Christ should either re-read the bible in which Jesus CLEARLY states that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6) That seems clear enough for you to understand, doesn’t it? The Church has never officially taught that all religious are equal.

            • Dan

              Ruth, thanks for defending the Faith.

              • guest

                She is not. Period.

                • guest

                  Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. This has always and will always be our teaching. It is possible for one outside the church to be saved only if they never commit a mortal sin and never doubt the truth of their position. Those before Christ or who have no way of knowing of him get the bonus of ignorance, but it is still hard. To be saved, you must be baptized, either by water, blood(martyred before baptism), or desire(intended to be baptised or would have been if they knew about it, this is the one that gets the unbaptised/unborn infants) Also, anyone in a state of schism, heresy, or apostasy are automatically extra ecclesiam(outside the church) and thus nulla salus(no salvation). Its tough, but you are inside the church(presumably) so work on getting to heaven and don’t worry about everyone else.

              • jcsmitty

                Yes, thanks, Ruth!

            • guest

              Are all those faithful Protestants going to hell? Are all those good Buddhists in China going to hell? Are all those good Hindus in India going to hell? Are all the people who have ever lived and died without ever knowing anyone named Jesus Christ going to hell? What kind of a god do you believe in? Not the Lord Jesus. You obviously have no idea how self-righteous and judgmental you sound. You are also sarcastic and rude. Your opening and ending lines clearly show this. Are such attitudes pleasing to your god? You are not defending the faith; you are harming it. I hope you don’t try to evangelize with such attitudes. Please see your local bishop to discuss salvation and get clarity. Universal condemnation except for Roman Catholics is not the teaching. A dash of humility would help you here as well.

      • Adam__Baum

        “I wonder if you have any Protestant relatives or friends?”

        I do, and I’ve had to suspend discussions of ecclesiology because I have little patience with specious de novo Biblical interpretation and the seething contempt and rebellion that undergirds their positions.

        • guest

          Suspend those discussions of ecclesiology. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Sparring over biblical interpretations goes nowhere. Try love; it never fails.

          • jcsmitty

            You could use a little love yourself. You seem to be spoiling for a fight by putting words into other people’s mouths and then “correcting” what you yourself put there.

      • jcsmitty

        Those who head towards a cliff need to be warned what’s ahead. That’s not judging, nor did Ruth “assign” anyone to hell. You seem to be reading a lot more into Ruth’s writing than is actually there.

  • Valentin

    Why don’t uneducated, unfaithful, secularists leave the big boy stuff to people who recognize the importance of the Eucharist and all of the other things God, tradition, and good reasoning have blessed us with? I hope that it is a spirit driving them towards something more substantial than how naively people try to side with people pushing for and favoring murder.

  • Benjamin Warren

    An issue that hasn’t been addressed by Catholics recently is the evil of the graduated income tax. St. Thomas condemned this implicitly in I II, Q. 96, Art. 4 of the _Summa_, in which he declared that laws must burden society proportionally to be just. In fact, Democrats ought to be denied communion also for supporting the graduated income tax, just as anyone who is pro-abortion should be denied communion.
    The bishops’ silence on this topic will send them to Hell, if it continues to be ignored.

    • Adam__Baum

      As a CPA, I spend a good deal of time learning and pondering the intricacies of the tax code. I have concluded that it is a manifestly evil thing, that renders citizens into subjects, divides them from each other, and distracts them from the shenanigans that politics inevitably entail since Juvenal identified the elements of good governance as “bread and circuses”.

      Having the states foot the bill for the operation of the federal government would prevent much of the nonsense that keeps the Inspectors General and GAO so busy. It would also conform to the principal of subsidiarity.

      Contemporary Bishops may meet with eternal displeasure, but future Bishops may meet with the gallows because of the hypertrophic effects of the tax code on the federal leviathan.

  • As much as it bothers me that a promoter of abortion politician wears her nominal Catholicism on her sleeve and dares to receive Holy Communion, isn’t it up to her bishop, either in CA or in DC, to bar her instead of Card. Burke? I mean, he has no jurisdiction over her, has he?

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  • Rick / Oregon

    Very well written Mr. Kirkwood. Now please get your insightful article published in some publications my liberal Catholic friends will read.
    God Bless you excellent jounalism!

  • davend

    This article could have ended after the first sentence of the second paragraph. All the opining of Cdl. Burke and Ted Peters doesn’t make a dimes worth of difference unless the relevant bishops (and really, parish priests when it comes down to it) agrees with them.

  • ralph+

    Why did it take so long for this to occur?

    Next on the list – Joe Biden, john Kerry, Martin O’Malley Kathleen Sebelius, and the Kennedy and Cuomo families. :Please PRAY FOR THEM.

    I’m sure you all know the word RINO.

    May I propose ‘CINO’?

  • tom

    Is Card. Dolan any less disrespectful of Church law than Pelosi or Biden when he refuses to impose Canon law?

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  • watcher

    All very good but the matter will come to a head when Pelosi stands before God and tries to explain how He is wrong and she is right. Wouldn’t you love to hear that conversation?

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