By John Jalsevac
WASHINGTON, August 25, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In an appearance on the NBC program Meet the Press on Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a self-professed Catholic, denied that the Catholic Church condemns abortion.
Referring to Barack Obama’s now-notorious answer to Pastor Rick Warren to the question of when life begins, Meet the Press moderator Tom Brokaw asked Pelosi, "Senator Obama saying the question of when life begins is above his pay grade…If he were to come to you and say, ‘Help me out here, Madame Speaker. When does life begin?’ what would you tell him?"
Pelosi responded by sidestepping the question, appealing to her Catholic faith as the source of her uncertainty.
"I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time," she said. "And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator - St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know."
Pelosi then said that in her view the question of when life begins is a non-issue in the debate on abortion.
"The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child - first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There’s very clear distinctions. This isn’t about abortion on demand, it’s about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and - to - that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god."
Brokaw continued to press Pelosi on the question, observing, "The Catholic Church at the moment feels very strongly that it… begins at the point of conception."
Pelosi again side-stepped the question, suggesting that the Church’s current position is only a recent position and that "over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy."
The President of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, responded to Pelosi’s statements on Meet the Press, observing that the Church’s position on abortion is clear beyond any doubt. "Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: ‘Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.’"
He continued, "It also says, ‘Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.’ Looks like Pelosi didn’t study the subject long enough. But not to worry: We are sending her a copy of Catholicism for Dummies today."
Kathryn Jean Lopez, the online editor of National Review, quipped, "It’s the blind leading the blind in that party if the ‘ardent practicing Catholic’ doesn’t care when life begins, only that women have the choice to do what they ‘choose’ (sometimes, thanks to people like Pelosi, not aware of what their choices actually are) whether it’s life or not."
Pelosi concluded her appearance by contradicting another doctrine of the Catholic Church by advocating contraception. Contraception is officially condemned by the Catholic Church as "intrinsically evil."
"My Republican colleagues do not support contraception. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, and we all do, we must - it would behoove you to support family planning and, and contraception, you would think," she said. "But that is not the case."
To see Pelosi’s appearance on Meet the Press see:
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
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Former Congressman Calls Nancy Pelosi "Anti-Catholic", Protegé of Radical Pro-Abort Priest Drinan
Bishop on Nancy Pelosi: It’s "Categorically Impossible" to be Catholic and Hold Abortion is "Just a Choice"
Speaker Pelosi Determines "Christianity Has Not Been Harmed" by S&M Last Supper Mockery