A year after issuing a pastoral letter that argues against offering Communion to pro-abortion politicians, Archbishop Cordileone finally pulled the trigger and banned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving the sacrament. Soon after, many bishops expressed their support for Cordileone, indicating that there may be more such bans for pro-abortion Catholics, including, perhaps, even President Biden.
Naturally, there has been great outcry and shock at the archbishop’s announcement. Somehow, the Church and the world have progressed to a point where it’s unexpected for a bishop to condemn what is an obvious evil. This is on par with Pope Francis foolishly asking, “Who am I to judge?” He’s the pope, the leader of the biggest Church on the planet and, yes, a moral authority whose job is to judge society—even if idiots like Whoopi Goldberg insist otherwise.
Cordileone seems to appreciate this responsibility and consequently took action, and he endured the expected criticism, not only from Pelosi and the usual pro-abortion leftists but from pro-abortion Catholics who feel entitled to speak on the issue. As articulated by the San Francisco Examiner, they accuse Cordileone of being one who is “in open defiance of Pope Francis…who prefers to pick partisan fights rather than make the church a place that welcomes people of all political backgrounds and all faiths”—as though Pope Francis was the final authority on Church teachings and being pro-abortion was merely one political position among others.
Orthodox. Faithful. Free.
Sign up to get Crisis articles delivered to your inbox daily
But they’re not, and that’s the problem. It’s always leftist politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Catholic clergyman like Pope Francis who make the mistake of mixing their politics with their religion and create stress for the people beneath them. Despite routinely flouting basic Christian teachings, Pelosi is very public about her faith, and she considers herself a devout Catholic. Pope Francis is very public about his politics, which are quite progressive if not outright Marxist. Both people are incredibly partisan and unwelcoming in their approach to leadership—just ask any conservative.
By contrast, Cordileone is acting as a true leader, upholding the Church’s position on defending life and preserving coherence in the Catholic community. He is responsible for preserving the sanctity of the sacraments and protecting his flock from wolves who threaten to sow division and confusion. This means confronting public figures like Pelosi who advocate genocide of the unborn while claiming to have the Church’s blessing.
It’s important to consider the full-on implosion of the Catholic Church specifically, and Christianity in general, when leaders like Cordileone say nothing. So many people have left their faith in the past few decades because they see no reason to stay. If all is permitted, even something as heinous as abortion, then simply staying at home on Sunday and adopting a personalized Christianity must be permitted as well. Indeed, insisting on orthodoxy and discipline becomes the real offense.
While it has become popular to make the secular case against abortion, the fact that there are so many “pro-choice” Christians suggests that it’s still worthwhile to continue making the religious case. Scientific arguments are effective for persuading those with intellectual hang-ups, but religious arguments are what’s needed to get to the heart.
All serious Christians need to understand that abortion is murder and thus a grave evil. Even with the exceptions that some people make for rape, incest, and the life of the mother being endangered, there is no moral justification for abortion. And even those exceptions don’t pass any muster with Christian scholars who write on this issue.
For pro-abortion Christians, the justification for abortion is the same as any other pro-abortion group, and they will roll out with the same idiotic slogans: “It’s my body, it’s my choice,” “It’s a woman’s [or pregnant person’s] right,” or “I’m a woman, not a womb.” All these lines boil down to the same argument: “Because I can!”
This is essentially the same argument Cain made to God. After he murdered his brother, he asked defiantly, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This is the argument that so many Israelite kings of the Old Testament made when they turned against God right after He saved them from extinction yet again. This is the argument that Judas made when he betrayed Jesus. And this is also the argument of all the human-sacrificing religions that persecuted Christians for the last two millennia.
And, in all those instances, not once did the side defending life and God’s will make peace with those endorsing infanticide. They didn’t fret about coming off rude or unwelcoming, and they didn’t agonize over possibly infringing on a woman’s supposed right to murder her offspring. They saw it for the evil it is and rejected it completely.
If these ancient religious pro-lifers took the mealymouthed approach that most of today’s bishops take when discussing abortion, there would be no Christianity or Judaism in the 21st century, and there certainly wouldn’t be any pro-life movement. Prenatal science would likely be at the service of eugenics and mass abortions, and motherhood would easily be subject to the needs of the state—much like China. The Christian pro-life movement has been the main check to this horrific outcome.
Archbishop Cordileone and his supporters understand this. If Catholics can’t even agree that abortion is a grave evil to be condemned and protested, then the Church and all her teachings are utterly meaningless and every priest and bishop should just stop talking. They have no business preaching the Gospel, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the grace of the sacraments if they can’t bring themselves to defend human life. Nor do they have any business opining on issues like immigration, climate change, or socialism if they can’t bring themselves to deny Holy Communion to those who flagrantly desecrate the Host.
And besides, if Christian leaders can’t be bothered to defend life, then society is doomed anyway. All notions of objective morality will be smothered by self-serving relativism. If the prevailing culture has determined that it is loving and appropriate to kill the unborn, it will soon deem it loving and appropriate to kill all vulnerable populations. History has proven that this is no slippery slope; it is a veritable certainty. And should this happen in modern America, no one, especially not dementia-addled geriatrics like Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden, will be safe.