Recently Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco announced that Nancy Pelosi would be denied Holy Communion due to her pro-abortion stance until she goes to confession and receives absolution.
It is unclear if other Archdioceses will follow suit. And the Vatican has been lax on this issue since Pope Francis has stated that he never denied communion to anyone, and even advised the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to tread softly on the matter.
So will Pelosi attend a mass in another Archdiocese and try to receive communion there? Will she appeal to the Pope? Or will she go to confession and change her stance on abortion?
Meanwhile, one should not forget Joe Biden’s claim that the Pope told him that he could receive communion despite his pro-abortion stance. The Vatican did not verify whether this was the case. So either: 1) Pope Francis is going soft on the matter; 2) Biden has been to confession over his views on abortion, in which case the Vatican cannot discuss the matter because doing so would be breaking the seal of confession; or 3) Biden is lying as usual.
This situation reminds me of the confrontation between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV of the Holy Roman Empire in the Eleventh Century over the issue of lay investiture (clergymen being appointed by secular authorities) and monarchs having jurisdiction over the clergy. Such a dispute led to an exchange of bitter letters regarding papal authority and royal authority between both individuals. Meanwhile, the nobles within the Holy Roman Empire sided with the Pope, while the clergy in the Holy Roman Empire sided with Henry IV, the latter of which resulted in Henry IV being excommunicated. Henry IV then went to the Pope’s winter palace in Canossa in January 1077 and allegedly stood in the snow for three days being barefoot and wearing nothing but a sackcloth while begging the Pope’s forgiveness. It is said that each time Henry IV knocked on the palace’s door, he was told that the Pope could not see him. Supposedly he stayed in a nearby dwelling after being turned away. Eventually, the Pope gave him absolution.
The matters of lay investiture and papal authority versus royal authority would eventually be resolved in the Concordat of Worms in 1122, which decreed that bishops were to be chosen in accordance with canon law, i.e. appointed by church officials.
Given the liberalism of Pope Francis, it is unclear what he will say or do on this matter. And if Pelosi does appeal to the Pope, I doubt she will be standing out in the square of St. Peter’s Basilica for three days begging for absolution.
Meanwhile, it appears the Supreme Court will be overturning Roe v. Wade this week. The Biden Administration anticipates violence. If that is the case, then how will the Biden Administration react?