June 25, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has laughed off a starkly worded letter from Priests for Life Founder Fr. Frank Pavone, challenging the self-professed Catholic congresswoman to discard her strongly pro-abortion views.

In an interview with Think Progress, Pelosi said she thought Fr. Pavone was being "hysterical," saying, "The arrogance of it all! It’s like something ancient, medieval." She also said that while she understands what the Catholic Church teaches on abortion, "my faith isn't about what their position is."

Fr. Pavone wrote the letter in response to Pelosi's recent comments describing the issue of late-term abortion as "sacred ground." She made the remarks in response to a question from a reporter about the late-term abortion ban that was recently passed in the House.

During the exchange the congresswoman also described herself as a "practicing and respectful Catholic," but expressed her opposition to the bill, saying, "This shouldn't have anything to do with politics."

In his letter, Pavone had written: "Mrs. Pelosi, for decades you have gotten away with betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith as well as the responsibilities of public office. We have had enough of it. Either exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them."

In the interview with Think Progress, Pelosi insisted, "My faith is very deep and has been my whole life. I love my faith and my faith has nothing to do with whoever he [Father Frank Pavone] is."

She added, "The Church taught me as I was growing up that every person has a free will and has the responsibility to live up to a moral standard. And I respect women’s judgment and values to do that. Whether this priest thinks his judgment should be another woman’s judgment is absolutely ridiculous to me. But nonetheless it’s what they say."

She said that rather than what the Catholic Church teaches, her faith is "is about, Christ is my savior, the church is his church, and has nothing to do with Priests for Life…"

She concluded saying she "wouldn't even dignify" what Fr. Pavone wrote in his letter. "It was a highly emotional statement that they made. If it were more intellectual I might have paid attention to it. He was acting hysterically."

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Fr. Pavone had accused Pelosi of making "a mockery of the Catholic faith and of the tens of millions of Americans who consider themselves 'practicing and respectful Catholics' and who find the killing of children -- whether inside or outside the womb -- reprehensible."

"Whatever Catholic faith you claim to respect and practice, it is not the faith that the Catholic Church teaches," he wrote. "And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it's time for you to stop speaking as if it were."