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San Fran. archbishop responds to Pelosi: ‘No Catholic can dissent in good conscience’ on abortion

Nancy Pelosi may refuse to say whether an unborn child is human, but science and Catholic teaching is clear, says her archbishop.
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Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
Patrick B. Craine By Patrick B. Craine

Patrick B. Craine By Patrick B. Craine

SAN FRANCISCO, January 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) - After House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi repeatedly refused to say last week whether an unborn child at 20 weeks is a “human being,” her archbishop in San Francisco has responded by insisting that “no Catholic can dissent in good conscience” on abortion.

CNSNews posed the question to Pelosi on January 22 in light of debate in the House of Representatives on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks except in cases of rape, incest, and a threat to the life of the mother.

After twice refusing to say whether an unborn child at 20 weeks is a “human being,” she stated: “As a mother of five, in six years, I have great standing on this issue, great understanding of it, more than my colleagues.” She added that she knows more about “having babies” than even the pope.

After her remarks, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told CNSNews that both science and Catholic teaching on the issue is clear.

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"It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception," he said. "This has been established in medical science for over 100 years. Catholic moral teaching acknowledges this scientific fact, and has always affirmed the grave moral evil of taking an innocent human life.”

“This has been the consistent teaching of the Church from the very beginning, a teaching already discernible in the natural moral law, and so a teaching from which no Catholic can dissent in good conscience,” he added.

Pastors, he said, have an “obligation … to reach out to their people who have difficulty understanding and accepting such important teachings of the Church in order to extend to them true pastoral care and, where appropriate, to establish a regular dialogue.”

“This is something I have always striven to do in the various ministries I have exercised as a priest and bishop, including now as the Archbishop of San Francisco. I ask for people’s prayers for success as I continue to strive to do this,” he said.


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