ARLINGTON, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Michael Burbidge announced that the Diocese of Arlington will respect the ban on Holy Communion for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi imposed last week by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
In remarks on Wednesday, Bishop Burbidge said that Archbishop Cordileone’s ban isn’t restricted “to just a geographical area” and also applies in his diocese, which borders Washington, D.C.
“He is her bishop, and as that bishop, the direction and guidance he provides is not limited to just a geographical area,” he said on “The Walk Humbly Podcast” podcast of the Arlington diocese. “I would respect the decision of Archbishop Cordileone and be consistent with that decision here in the Diocese of Arlington, should that situation occur.”
Bishop Burbidge praised the San Francisco prelate for prohibiting Pelosi from Holy Communion until she repents of her longtime abortion advocacy, calling him “a courageous man” who “loves the Lord” and the Church.
“Speaker Pelosi has been actively pro-abortion for years, and years, and years, so, for the Archbishop to make this decision now demonstrates that he did what he could but felt that she had no desire to align with Church teaching,” he said.
The Arlington bishop noted that Archbishop Cordileone has offered the pro-abortion Democratic congresswoman a “path back to the Church,” which includes repentance and acceptance of the Church’s teaching that “the unborn need to be protected” and “all life is sacred.” “Those doors are open to her, to any of us who wander away from the Lord and from what He teaches.”
He additionally revealed that he has privately instructed other individuals “who have continuously scandalized the Church by holding a personal Catholic identity while also publicly advocating for abortion or other inherent moral evils” from coming up for Holy Communion in the Diocese of Arlington.
Cordlieone’s ‘compassion stance’
Archbishop Cordileone last week sent shockwaves through the Church with a formal notification warning Pelosi not to receive the Eucharist unless she publicly repudiates her abortion support and is absolved of her “grave sin” through Confession.
“[Y]ou are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance,” he wrote to Pelosi.
“A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others,” the Archbishop stressed. He also cited Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, which states that anyone “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” which Catholics must only receive in the state of grace.
Several prelates, including Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, have endorsed the order.
+Michael Barber: “I support @ArchCardileone in the heroic and compassionate stance he took today in the protection and defense of human life. As @Pontifex said, 'Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ.'"
— Diocese of Oakland (@oakdiocese) May 20, 2022
Bishop Burbidge’s comments came after Bishop Robert Vasa of the Diocese of Santa Rosa said that he would implement Archbishop Cordileone’s ban in his diocese, which neighbors the Archdiocese of San Francisco and in which Pelosi owns a mansion and vineyard.
Bishop Joseph Strickland also announced Tuesday that the House Speaker may not partake of the Holy Eucharist in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.
But Pelosi has already defied Archbishop Cordileone’s directive, receiving Communion on Sunday at Jesuit-run Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., where Joe Biden likewise attends Mass and continues to receive the Sacrament despite his inveterate abortion advocacy, which has included signing off on billions of dollars of taxpayer funding for abortion.
In an email mistakenly sent to the Washington Examiner, a diocesan spokesperson revealed this week that Cardinal Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Washington “has not instructed the priests of the [archdiocese] to refuse Communion” to Pelosi, despite the ban.
The liberal Washington cardinal has previously said that he would not deny the Eucharist to pro-abortion policymakers.
In 2004, Gregory and disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick notably withheld a Vatican memo stating that politicians “formal cooperate” in abortion if they vote or campaign for laws that would liberalize the practice, and must be denied Communion. The canonical penalty for formal cooperation in abortion is excommunication.
And last year, Cardinal Gregory joined a group of left-wing prelates who urged the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to halt discussions about Eucharistic worthiness.
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is always “gravely contrary to the moral law” – an “unchangeable” teaching, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and one that dates back to the time of Apostles.
“In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it,’” Pope St. John Paul II declared in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae. A doctrinal note approved by the saintly pontiff in 2002 emphasized that it is “impossible” for a Catholic to support “any law” that promotes abortion.
Biden and Pelosi, as well as every other congressional “Catholic” Democrat besides West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, have nevertheless gone so far as to back legislation that would strip religious protections from the Catholic Church and force Catholic doctors to perform abortions and “sex change” surgeries.
The Biden administration has also repeatedly attempted to require Catholic health practitioners to commit abortions and other intrinsically evil procedures through regulatory policy, while pushing legislation that could mandate that religious schools hire homosexuals or lose federal funding.