The Vatican's highest-ranking American said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other Catholic politicians who support abortion should be denied communion.
"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," said Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome.
Burke's rebuke came during an interview with the Minneapolis-based Catholic Servant newspaper in July, but only came to national attention after another Catholic paper, The Wanderer, reprinted the article online
The Catholic Servant asked Burke, the most important court official in the Holy See, how Catholics should react to Pelosi's refusal to comment when asked about Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of manslaughter and first-degree murder charges for the death of a patient and seven babies who were killed after being born alive.
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"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," Pelosi responded during a press conference earlier this year.
Burke said Canon 915 of the church's code should be applied in Pelosi's case: Those who are "obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion."
"To say that these are simply questions of Catholic faith, which have no part in politics, is just false and wrong," said Burke a former archbishop of St. Louis and bishop of La Crosse, Wis.
"I fear for Congresswoman Pelosi if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is," Burke said.
Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., said in May
that he would not deny communion to Pelosi, stating that the church does not use communion as a "weapon."
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