House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received Holy Communion Wednesday at the Vatican and met with Pope Francis despite her support for abortion rights.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) attended the Pontiff’s morning Mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral and received Communion along with the rest of the congregants, according to two people who witnessed the moment.
The powerful Democrat also met with Pope Francis and received his blessing.
She was seated in a VIP section of the venerable church as a sign of the respect she holds for the Vatican despite the Catholic Church’s staunch opposition to women’s right to choose.
The move by the Vatican signaled a rebuke to arch-conservative San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who has barred Pelosi from receiving the sacrament in her home diocese.
The Holy Father has strongly upheld the church’s opposition to abortion, and on Wednesday said church leaders must “continue to care for human life.”
But in his homily to the crowd including Pelosi, Francis instructed newly minted archbishops to welcome everyone into the church, and to not “remain pinned to some of our fruitless debates.”
“So many times we become a church with open doors, but only to send people away, to condemn them,” he said.
Pelosi, perhaps the nation’s most visible and outspoken Catholic leader after President Biden, insists that abortion is a personal choice that must be left to women to make for themselves.
She blasted the called the recent Supreme Court ruling rolling back Roe v. Wade as an “outrageous and heart-wrenching” decision.
“Faith is an important gift, not everyone has it but it is the path to so many other things,” she said at an event marking American Independence Day on Thursday night.
Pelosi has also criticized Catholic leaders as hypocrites for imposing harsh stances against pro-choice political leaders while ignoring those who support the death penalty even though it is also a no-no for the church.