WASHINGTON, D.C., June 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A group of pro-life priests has written to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, demanding that she either follow the Catholic teachings on abortion, or “have the honesty” to “formally renounce” her Catholic faith. 

The letter was written in response to Pelosi’s recent remarks in which she suggested that the issue of late-term abortions is “sacred ground.”

Last week, Pelosi was asked by a reporter what the difference is between a legal late-term abortion and the killing of babies of the same age after they have been born alive, as late-term aborionist Kermit Gosnell was recently found guilty of doing. 

Pelosi refused to answer the question, and in response to the reporter’s repeated questioning, she responded, "As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this. This shouldn't have anything to do with politics." 

In an open letter to Pelosi, Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, shot back: “With this statement, you make 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,” continued Pavone. “And I speak for countless Catholics when I say that it's time for you to stop speaking as if it were.” 

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Nancy Pelosi has long been one of the strongest supporters of legal abortion in the House of Representatives. While numerous Catholic bishops have publicly chastised her for her views on the issue, she has often invoked her Catholic faith as justification for her stance on the issue. 

In one interview with Newsweek in 2010, Pelosi said that it is because of the Catholic teaching of “free will” that she believes women should have the right to choose abortion. She also mentioned the fact that she herself had six children, saying, “So, I appreciate and value all that they want to talk about in terms of family and the rest." 

However, Fr. Pavone took the former speaker to task for her attempt to justify abortion based upon her faith.

“Abortion is not sacred ground; it is sacrilegious ground,” he said. “To imagine God giving the slightest approval to an act that dismembers a child he created is offensive to both faith and reason. And to say that a question about the difference between a legal medical procedure and murder should not ‘have anything to do with politics’ reveals a profound failure to understand your own political responsibilities, which start with the duty to secure the God-given right to life of every citizen.” 

Fr. Pavone’s letter concludes: “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.”