STATEN ISLAND, NY, June 27, 2013 ( – Fr. Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life, has challenged former House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to answer the “simple question” as to what the moral difference is between killing a baby outside the womb and killing the same baby inside.

By “continuing to support dismemberment abortion, and refusing to explain its distinction from murder, [Pelosi] has disconnected herself from both faith and reason,” Fr. Pavone said in a statement released Wednesday. “Priests for Life will not allow this to go unchallenged.”

The pro-life priest issued the statement after Pelosi, who describes herself as a devout Catholic, dismissed an open letter he had addressed to her, in which he chastised the former Speaker for her recent remarks describing the issue of late-term abortion as “sacred ground.”

“Mrs. Pelosi, for decades you have gotten away with betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith as well as the responsibilities of public office,” he wrote in that letter. “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 a subsequent interview with Think Progress, Pelosi shot back, saying that in that letter Fr. Pavone was being “hysterical.”

“The arrogance of it all! It’s like something ancient, medieval,” she said. She also said that while she understands what the Catholic Church teaches on abortion, “my faith isn't about what their position is.”

The war of the words between Pelosi and the priest broke out after she refused to answer a question from a reporter on June 13 about the difference between Kermit Gosnell murdering a 23-week baby after birth, and a legal abortion of a baby the same age. 

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“In refusing to answer this question, and instead choosing to criticize the messenger and then assert her own version of Catholicism, Mrs. Pelosi repeats the same display of avoidance and inconsistency as she exhibited at the June 13 press briefing that prompted my letter in the first place,” said Fr. Pavone on Wednesday. 

Despite her protestations that she is a devout Catholic, Fr. Pavone also said that Pelosi knows what the Catholic Church teaches and “has clearly rejected it.” 

“The beautiful thing about Catholic Faith is that it is not some kind of mysterious knowledge available only to elites or to the person holding it,” he said. “Rather, it can be plainly understood by prince and pauper, young and old, educated and illiterate. We can all recognize when it is embraced and when it is rejected.”

You “don’t need to know theology or be a priest to conclude that tearing a baby apart limb by limb is wrong,” he added. “Yet Nancy Pelosi has done it again – she’s trying to use faith talk to escape what both reason and Catholicism teach about abortion, and to escape answering the simple question, 'What is the moral difference between killing a premature newborn and aborting a baby?'”

Priests for Life is also organizating a “Tweetfest” today, asking pro-life activists to flood social media to pressure Pelosi to answer the “big” question. 

A Facebook event page provides several sample tweets that activists can send out. “What’s the difference between what Gosnell did to a baby born alive at 23 weeks & aborting her moments before birth? @NancyPelosi” reads one of them.