Group Calls for Pelosi's Excommunication

Friday, 06 Mar 2009 07:24 PM

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A Catholic pro-life group has sent a letter to the Vatican calling on Pope Benedict XVI to excommunicate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the Catholic Church due to her position on abortion.

Front Royal, Va.-based Human Life International (HLI) had the letter delivered from its Rome office in February, according to Cybercast News Service’s CNSNews Web site.

The letter was sent “because so many people have called on the bishops in the jurisdictions she lives in, who could possibly do it — and they won’t,” HLI President Rev. Thomas Euteneur told CNSNews.

“Pelosi has a home in the archdiocese of San Francisco, headed by Archbishop George Niederauer, and works in Washington, D.C., the archdiocese overseen by Archbishop Donald Wuerl.”

Pelosi has voted for laws that promote abortion and artificial contraception, both of which are contrary to church teaching. She voted against banning partial-birth abortion, and against the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited federal funding of abortion in most circumstances, CNSNews reported.

The California Democrat also opposed a complete ban on human cloning and supported using tax dollars for research that kills human embryos.

Dr. Edward Peters, who holds the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, and is a prominent canon lawyer, said Nancy Pelosi is in violation of the church’s Canon 915 and likely other canon laws that would prohibit her from receiving communion at Mass and potentially face other penalties.

Peters said HLI was within rights granted under Canon Law to petition the Pope to excommunicate Pelosi.

Peters told CNSNews that HLI’s move is not “unprecedented,” even though it is “not a common event.”

He said church law “protects the rights of the faithful to raise questions about things that concern the good of the church. A group is within their rights to present their arguments on the Nancy Pelosi issue. I think their arguments are going to fail, but they are within their rights to ask for it.”

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