LGBTQI/Ally Catholics Reject Communion Ban on Speaker Pelosi
May 21, 2022. DignityUSA, the organization representing the majority of U.S. Catholics who stand for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in our church and society, announced today that they believe Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the right to receive Communion, rejecting a ban imposed by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The archbishop said Pelosi may not receive Communion until she publicly repudiates her support for access to abortion.
“DignityUSA firmly believes that the sacraments of our church should never be weaponized against Catholics, no matter their identity, beliefs, or public stances,” said DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke. “Communion is a gift to help us grow in grace, not a reward for compliance. It is wrong for Speaker Pelosi to be denied Communion for striving to serve the people of this diverse nation. We call on Archbishop Cordileone to withdraw this ban, and for Catholics across the country to stand against attempts to use Communion to coerce the violation of anyone’s sincerely held beliefs.”
In November 2021, DignityUSA helped lead the “Bread Not Stones” witness at the Fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The group was considering banning leaders, including President Biden, from receiving Communion who supported public policies opposed by the majority of the country’s bishops. The bishops rejected an explicit ban, instead issuing a document that provided guidelines for Catholics to consider when receiving Communion.
Duddy-Burke said, “Withholding Communion from any Catholic pushes them to the margins of our Church. It shames them by encouraging people to speculate about why they are unworthy of approaching the sacred table. It violates the duty of care that is the central ministry of the ordained. It is simply wrong.”
Duddy-Burke continued, “Speaker Pelosi holds the same view on abortion that the majority of U.S. Catholics share. Nearly two-thirds of Catholics (68% according to a Pew survey in 2019) do not want Roe v. Wade overturned. Denying her Communion is a clear attempt to intimidate Catholics. It will not work. It will simply disgust and alienate Catholics and widen the growing gap between church leaders and members. The majority of U.S. bishops seem to understand this, based on their rejection of the kind of ban Archbishop Cordileone has announced. We call on Catholics to speak out against the weaponization of Communion.”
Madeline Marlett who volunteered as an Altar Server for Archbishop Cordileone for several years, and who now serves as co-chair of DignityUSA’s Young Adult group, said, “Our Young Adult group lauds Speaker Pelosi for her continued commitment to political service, and to creating a brighter future for all of us. This hideous act of condemnation by the San Francisco Archbishop is antithetical to the inspiring life of service and Catholic witness that Speaker Pelosi leads. We call for this injustice to be righted and will continue to hold Speaker Pelosi in prayer as she faces the unjust weaponizing of this core sacrament of Catholicism.”
DignityUSA is the nation’s foremost organization of Catholics who support justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in our church and society. Founded in 1969, it has long worked for full access to the sacraments for all Catholics, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or relational or marital status.