In an interview with Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi criticized the Church for its position on abortion and gays rights and stated that her Bishop has “tried to change my mind”
Pelosi responds to questions about abortion in the health-care bill and her insistence that the original pre-Stupak bill did not fund abortion and says of the Bishops “they are not willing to accept facts.”
It was reported that you were negotiating with the conference of bishops.
I talked to one of the cardinals. I said to him that I believe that what we are doing honors the principles we talked about: we want to pass a health-care bill, we want it to be abortion neutral, and we want it to [have] no federal funding [for abortion], which is the law. And we believe that our language does that. They said, “We believe that it does not.” I said, let’s sit down at the table and our lawyers can compare language. That’s what the meeting was about—to make our case. Clearly, the people at that table were not willing to accept what we know to be a fact.
Pelosi goes on to criticize the Church for its position on abortion and gay marriage while still claiming to be a “practicing” Catholic
I think you have had some brushes with [church] hierarchy.
I have some concerns about the church’s position respecting a woman’s right to choose. I have some concerns about the church’s position on gay rights. I am a practicing Catholic, although they’re probably not too happy about that. But it is my faith. I practically mourn this difference of opinion because I feel what I was raised to believe is consistent with what I profess, and that is that we are all endowed with a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And that women should have that opportunity to exercise their free will.
And finally admits that her Bishop has tried to change her mind on the subject, but she is not listening.
Is it difficult for you to reconcile your faith with the role you have in public life?
You know, I had five children in six years. The day I brought my fifth baby home, that week my daughter turned 6. So I appreciate and value all that they want to talk about in terms of family and the rest. When I speak to my archbishop in San Francisco and his role is to try to change my mind on the subject, well then he is exercising his pastoral duty to me as one of his flock. When they call me on the phone here to talk about, or come to see me about an issue, that’s a different story. Then they are advocates, and I am a public official, and I have a different responsibility.
What we know is that Nancy Pelosi continues to publicly represent herself as a faithful and practicing Catholic while continuing to to publicly oppose the Church on grave moral matters. We also know that her Bishop has apparently contacted her privately to try and change her mind, to which she has responded publicly by saying she will not be swayed. This is a text-book definition of scandal and should, at this point, be dealt with in a direct and public way lest no one else think that you can hold these positions and consider yourself a “practicing” Catholic.
ht to Newsbusters for the interview.