Sunday, January 10, 2010

Excommunicating Pelosi

I was reading a posting on a Catholic blog regarding our Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, and her continuing habit of misrepresenting Catholic theology. You see, Ms. Pelosi has been very public in her statements in support of abortion and saying that this is not necessarily in conflict with Christ's teachings through his Holy Catholic Church.

Needless to say that is unequivocally false and Ms. Pelosi knows it! Evidently she has had multiple conversations with the bishop of her diocese on the subject and yet continues to hold firm to her position.

The Catholic blog I was reading stated that in such a case excommunication was probably not in order.

First, let me digress a moment and say what excommunication is. Excommunication is done so that a parishioner is no longer allowed to partake of the sacrament of the Eucharist... Holy Communion. It does not mean that they are kicked out of the church, as everyone has a right to enter God's house and thereby hopefully repent of their sins... especially those that have been excommunicated.

And that gets to the point of excommunication. It is up to the bishop of each particular diocese to choose whether to excommunicate a parishioner and this is never done for light reasons as it is indeed the most serious penalty the Church can impose. For Catholics this means that an excommunicated member would no longer be able to partake of the sacrament of the Eucharist and receive the actual presence of our Lord in doing so.

A Bishop is supposed to use excommunication only as a last resort if he thinks by doing so it will serve as a wake up call and bring the straying parishioner back into the faith in accordance with Christ's teachings. If, by excommunication, it would only serve to drive the person in question further astray, then the penalty should not be used.

This is where I have issues with this. Perhaps I am a bad Catholic or perhaps I simply am still too ignorant of all of the aspects thereof, but I find that excommunication for someone such as Nancy Pelosi is indeed in order here.

Ms. Pelosi, in light of her status, power, and access to the bully pulpit, has incredible power to persuade people. When she knowingly espouses an evil as acceptable and claims that it is not in conflict with Catholic teaching, she is committing an egregious sin.

How many cafeteria Catholics, luke-warm Christians, or those that are ignorant of Christ's teachings have justified supporting or even getting an abortion because of Pelosi's public statements?

If her Bishop were to excommunicate her, this would show the people across our nation that Pelosi is indeed wrong. I would hope that this would bring her back into the fold of the faith, but even if not, for the Catholic church to stand by and not admonish her severely and publicly only serves for the Church to be complicit in this act of evil in my opinion.

Finally, I do not hate those that seek or have had abortions. I rather feel profoundly sorry for them and pray for them. I suspect that most people having had abortions are often conflicted and troubled for the remainder of their lives for this act. I shudder at those with the lack of conscience that are not troubled by this.

That being said, it is our duty as human beings, and certainly as Christians, to protect innocent unborn life and by allowing Nancy Pelosi to continue to spout her support of abortion, and then have the audacity to attribute it as being permissible under the Catholic faith, well I think the time has long come for the excommunication of our Speaker of the House. One would hope this happens soon so that more evil can not be promulgated under the false notion of being permissible by Christ's own church.


Dave Splash said...

My issue with arguments like this are that regardless of what one's personal, religious beliefs are, when you are elected to public office, you represent everyone in your district/state/city/ward etc, and not just those of your particular religious faith. It seems to me (and I am not Catholic, let's be clear about that) that in a society that mandates religious freedom and prohibits religious tests for public office, that some in the Catholic hierarchy want to force their interpretation of their religion onto those who may not share it. I see that as incredibly un-American.

Removing Pelosi from the equation, why should any member of Congress (who runs to represent the views of their constituents) place the views of their priest, bishop, rabbi, imam, or whatever ahead of the wishes of the citizens of that congressional district?

In another posting on your site, you talk about the Catholic church's position on "open borders," and how it differs from your personal beliefs. Would you vote for a person who said that despite the feelings of the people in the district, he was going to disregard those wishes because his church has a different view? What about the same scenario with regards to capital punishment?

I think that the Catholic Church should understand that despite a politician's personal beliefs, when they get elected, it's not all about them. It's about the citizens in the district. Threatening politicians with ex-communication may be within their rights as church leaders, but wouldn't it have a chilling effect on future Catholic candidates or even make it less likely that Catholics would be elected at all? It would certainly effect how I vote if I knew that no matter how an issue polled in my district, no matter what the citizens think, that a member of Congress will set that aside because he/she fears retribution from their church.

T. Paine said...

Splash, you do indeed make some excellent points on this. Indeed if a congressman does not faithfully represent their district's will, they will not likely be their congressman for long.

My problem is not with that issue quite so much. My problem is more with the fact that specifically in Nancy Pelosi's case, she intentionally and knowingly misreprents the Catholic Church's teaching on the issue of abortion to either salve her own conscience or to try and justify her erroneous position in the eyes of the Church.

As a representative of the people in Congress, she is free to espouse whatever position she chooses that her constituents will let her get away with there. ( and they obviously have let her get away for years in her San Francisco district with this.)

The problem arises in the fact that she cannot, or should not in my humble opinion, completely disregard the teachings of her church, even after being counseled on the matter by her Bishop, and then espouse the exact opposite of those teachings not only to her constituent Catholics, but to all Americans as they listen to their speaker of the house.

It is this for which the penalty of excommunication should be applied.

Personally, I fear the breaking of God's laws far more than I do of man's laws. I would hope whomever my representative is, that they would feel the same way and act and vote accordingly regardless of whether they forfeit their office because of such a moral stand.

I realize their are many politicians that don't think this way, and that is a huge part of the problem, again in my opinion.

Far better to be a ruler in hell than a servant in heaven, I guess the saying goes for them...