Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pelosi on... Pelosi: The Speaker Responds

After an unprecedented tongue-lashing from the nation's senior church leadership -- including the archbishops of New York, Washington, Denver and representatives of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops -- a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement earlier today:

“The Speaker is the mother of five children and seven grandchildren and fully appreciates the sanctity of family. She was raised in a devout Catholic family who often disagreed with her pro-choice views.

“After she was elected to Congress, and the choice issue became more public as she would have to vote on it, she studied the matter more closely. Her views on when life begins were informed by the views of Saint Augustine, who said: ‘…the law does not provide that the act [abortion] pertains to homicide, for there cannot yet be said to be a live soul in a body that lacks sensation…’ (Saint Augustine, On Exodus 21.22)

“While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view. The Speaker agrees with the Church that we should reduce the number of abortions. She believes that can be done by making family planning more available, as well as by increasing the number of comprehensive age-appropriate sex education and caring adoption programs.

“The Speaker has a long, proud record of working with the Catholic Church on many issues, including alleviating poverty and promoting social justice and peace.”

(Via Amy Welborn.)

As previously noted, the speaker's hometown shepherd, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, will respond to Pelosi's controversial Meet the Press comments in a column for the next edition of his archdiocesan weekly, slated to appear on 5 September -- a timetable that would ostensibly give Niederauer the opportunity to seek the input of his close confidant and "City" predecessor Cardinal William Levada, now the global church's top guardian of orthodoxy as prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Soon to come from Denver: tonight's speech from Bob Casey, Jr. -- the Pennsylvania senator and scion of the Democrats' most prominent pro-life Catholic dynasty.

SVILUPPO: Sixteen years after his venerated father -- arguably, the most popular governor in modern Pennsylvania history -- was deep-sixed from the DNC podium, Casey Jr.'s fulltext...

Key quote:
"Barack Obama and I have an honest disagreement on the issue of abortion. But the fact that I’m speaking here tonight is testament to Barack’s ability to show respect for the views of people who may disagree with him."
PHOTO: Getty Images