Catholyc Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, whose days in Congress are numbered, in an interview with Politics Daily published today (emphasis mine):
[Pelosi's] own pro-choice votes have caused her some agita as a Catholic who attends daily Mass, and whose staff has to locate a church for her wherever she travels. Given her clashes with the hierarchy of her church, has there ever been a moment when she thought of leaving it? This notion doesn’t seem to compute.“Leaving?” Leaving the Catholic Church, I clarify. “Nooo,” she says, laughing as if the thought is too ridiculous to even contemplate. “No, no, no. I think some people might like me to do that. No, no, my faith is very important to me, and I view my connection to the church to be a very personal one — not passing through the hierarchy of the Catholic Church — but it is a source of strength and joy to me in my life.”
The tragedy of Nancy Pelosi, I’m beginning to think, is not so much that she has intentionally warped her faith, but that she is woefully ignorant of it (the question about whether she is willfully ignorant is beyond my ability to surmise).
The responsibility for this pitiful state of affairs, considering the havoc she has caused for a culture of life during her tenure as speaker of the house, I am tempted to say sits squarely on the shoulders of her bishop Archbishop Niederauer.
It is up to the Archbishop to speak to this woman, to invite her for a conversation about what the Church is and how her faith, by nature, is indeed “passed through the heirarchy.” (Apostolic succession, anyone?). If the Archbishop’s attempts to have this one-on-one have been rebuffed, it is up to him to use other pastoral means of communicating clearly to her that her salvation is in jeopardy.
Ignorance is not an ultimate excuse for Nancy Pelosi. And her comments above reinforce my conclusion that, when it comes to the most basic questions about our Catholic faith, Pelosi isn’t deriving any personal benefit from the bishop’s heirarchical responsibility to teach.
While I am on the topic, Nancy Pelosi spends a great deal of time in the District of Columbia. Before she leaves for good, perhaps our new local Cardinal-designate (Archbishop Wuerl) could extend a personal invitation to the future ex-Speaker of the House as well.