By Kathleen Gilbert
SAN FRANCISCO, February 18, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the wake of House Speaker Pelosi’s closed-door meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, news has erupted that earlier this month Pelosi secretly met with her own bishop, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, to discuss her stance on abortion. Pelosi had publicly accepted an invitation to meet with Niederauer after the Speaker attempted to justify abortion in light of Catholic teaching last year during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press.
Michael Voris of Real Catholic TV broke the news today that the promised meeting took place Sunday, February 8 in a third-party home in San Francisco. Voris reports that Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said that the Speaker described the meeting as "cordial and pleasant ... a fair exchange and good."
When asked whether Pelosi had changed her position on abortion to agree with Catholic teaching, Daly stated, "You won’t see that happening. She is not changing her position on abortion."
Attempts by LifeSiteNews.com to reach the Archbishop’s office were unanswered by press time.
Pelosi got in hot water with Catholic Church officials and laity after she told Tom Brokaw of Meet the Press last August that "the doctors of the Church haven’t been able to make that definition" on whether life begins at conception.
"The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose," she said. "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."
Archbishop Niederauer joined a chorus of bishops condemning the comments, issuing a lengthy statement to correct Pelosi’s error and invite her to "a conversation with me about these matters." Pelosi immediately responded, saying she would "welcome the opportunity ... to go beyond our earlier most cordial exchange about immigration and needs of the poor to Church teaching on other significant matters."
Niederauer had met the Speaker in 2007 but did not touch upon the abortion issue because, Niederauer said, the issue of immigration was "very much the hot-button topic of the time."
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
"Catholic" Speaker Pelosi Denies that Catholicism Condemns Abortion
26 US Bishops Have Rebuked Pelosi…So Far
San Francisco Archbishop Niederauer Says He Doesn’t Know Nancy Pelosi Stand on Abortion