By Tim Waggoner
WASHINGTON, September 10, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The barrage of criticism from US bishops aimed at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been deafening. Yesterday the popular American Papist blog compiled all of the statements, either written or verbal, made by bishops to date, revealing that an unprecedented total of 26 bishops have individually rebuked the Speaker of the House for her claims about Catholic teaching and abortion in addition to a general statement by the Conference of Bishops.
On the August 24 episode of Meet the Press, self-proclaimed "ardent and practicing Catholic" Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that the Church’s stance on when life begins has been "an issue of controversy" over the years. Pelosi then defended her pro-abortion stance as being in conformity with her Catholic faith.
Pelosi was responding to a question by Meet the Press moderator Tom Brokaw, in which he recounted Barack Obama’s answer to the question on when life begins, that it is "above my pay grade." He then asked Pelosi what her response to the question would be.
Pelsosi said, "I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins," before saying, "The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose."
Immediately following the airing of the program, US bishops began to respond. They most heavily relied upon a quote drawn from paragraph 2270-71 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which says clearly:
"Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable."
In an attempt to rectify the situation, Pelosi’s spokesperson, Brenda Daly, responded by saying that Pelosi is not justified in her pro-abortion stance due to vague Church teaching - but on the basis that many other "Catholics" also violate Church teaching.
Last week, Pelosi accepted an invitation from the Archbishop of San Francisco, George Niederauer, to discuss the Church’s authentic teaching on human life and to address whether or not Pelosi should be receiving Holy Communion when she has publicly expressed her disagreement with fundamental Church teaching. No date has yet been set for that meeting.
Provided by the American Papist, the following list includes all the American bishops who have responded to Nancy Pelosi’s comments so far:
1. Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver
2. Bishop James Conley, his auxiliary
3. Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington DC
4. Cardinal Justin Regali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities
5. Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, joined him
6. Cardinal Edward Egan of New York
7. Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo
8. Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh
9. Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs
10. Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio
11. Bishop Oscar Cantu, his auxiliary bishop, has joined him
12. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville
13. Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa
14. Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas
15. Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin
16. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston
17. Bishop Thomas Wenski of Orlando
18. Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul/Minneapolis
19. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, President of the US Bishops
20. Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker
21. Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse
22. Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland
23. Bishop Ralph Nickless of Sioux City
24. Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco
25. Bishop Glen Provost, Lake Charles, LA
26. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn
See http://www.americanpapist.com/2008/08/listed-american-bishops-who-have-spoken.html for all of the links to the bishops’ statements on Pelosi.