By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 28, 2008 ( – Two more bishops have released statements condemning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s widely publicized claim that the Catholic faith could support abortion.

Bishop Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs and Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh join the other six Catholic bishops who have already corrected Pelosi’s false claims, made during an appearnace on NBC’s Meet the Press, that when life begins has been “an issue of controversy” throughout the history of the Church and that, therefore, the Catholic faith can support abortion.

Bishop Sheridan warned Catholics in his statement Tuesday that Pelosi’s picture of Church history and teaching is categorically false. “Speaker Pelosi’s outrageous attempt to present what she considers the teaching of the Catholic Church regarding abortion is simply wrong and should be disregarded by every faithful Catholic,” he wrote.

Quoting Pope John Paul II, Bishop Sheridan reminded his readers that violating the right to life undermines all human rights, which are present “from the moment of conception until natural death.”

“The teachings of the Church on abortion are consistent and unambiguous, and it is very disturbing to hear someone who claims to be a Catholic distort these teachings and sow seeds of confusion among the faithful by attempting to relativize the right to life,” said Bishop Sheridan.

Bishop Zubik on Wednesday also condemned Pelosi for going too far: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped out of her political role and completely misrepresented the teaching of the Catholic Church in regard to abortion.” The bishop went on to reject the notion that Church condemnation of abortion “is somehow new and therefore unsettled.”

Both bishops cited the first-century Didache, the earliest collection of Catholic moral teachings besides the Bible, to show that the Catholic Church from the beginning has unequivocally condemned violence against unborn life: “You shall not kill the embryo by abortion.”

Pelosi’s own bishop, Archbishop George Hugh Niederauer, has thus far made no comment. His spokesman Maurice Healy told that the Archbishop would be publishing something on the matter in his regular column in the diocesan newspaper on September 5.

Bishop Sheridan’s full statement:

Bishop Zubik’s full statement:

See related articles:

Pelosi Spokeswoman About-face: Catholic Church “Clear” on Life Teaching After All – But Catholics Need Not Listen

“Catholic” Speaker Pelosi Denies that Catholicism Condemns Abortion

Cardinals, Bishops and Congressmen Slam Pelosi on Abortion

New York Cardinal – Pelosi Not Worthy of “Providing Leadership in a Civilized Democracy”