Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 72 (4) November 2022

Editorial: Thank you Archbishop Cordileone!

Dr Pravin Thevathsan

Picture of AuthorArchbishop Cordileone of San Francisco has recently barred Nancy Pelosi, the pro-abortion Democrat, from receiving Holy Communion in his Archdiocese. He did everything by the book. He first told her privately that she was acting contrary to the Church. She was granted considerable time to reflect. She responded by continuing to promote abortion while calling herself a devout Catholic. This behaviour is scandalous and has caused a great deal of confusion. As a pastor of souls, the Archbishop took the appropriate action. (May20, 2022, Catholic News Agency)

Nancy Pelosi responded to his pastoral action by doubling down on her support of abortion. She said: "I wonder about the death penalty, which I am opposed to. So is my Church. But they take no action against people who may not share their view." (May24, 2022, Catholic News Agency)

Like Pelosi, I am generally opposed to the death penalty. But there is a real difference: the intentional killing of innocent human beings is intrinsically evil. Abortion is the killing of an innocent human being. It is intrinsically evil. The death penalty is not intended for the innocent. It is therefore not intrinsically evil.

There are many Catholics like Pelosi, and they are not just lay Catholics. They believe that abortion is bad, as is poverty and other social ills. Of course, we should be concerned about poverty and the rights of migrants. But I cannot be responsible for the plight of the poor unless I am doing something deliberately to cause them their poverty. By actively promoting abortion, a person is doing something that is intrinsically evil. Abortion is the pre-eminent evil of our age.

I am so grateful to the Archbishop. Some years ago, I gave a pro-life talk in an Asian country. I was heckled by a group of lawyers who were campaigning to legalise abortion in that country. When I spoke with them after the talk, some said they were Catholics and were receiving Holy Communion because "the Church no longer tells you how to act." The person they cited as their role model was Nancy Pelosi.