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church and state

Pelosi denied communion by archbishop over support for abortion rights

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic Democrat from California, can no longer receive communion due to her support of abortion rights, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced Friday, per the San Francisco Chronicle.

In a public notification, Cordileone said he'd warned Pelosi in April that she must drop her support of abortion rights or cease referring to her faith to justify them, the Chronicle writes. Cordileone also said Pelosi declined to meet with him.

"As you have not publically repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come," the archbishop wrote. "I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion" until she walks back her support of abortion, confesses, and receives absolution.

In the past, Pelosi has shrugged off abortion-related attacks from Cordileone. In March, she had joked that the Catholic Church would like to "throw [her] out" over her pro-choice stance. 

On a broader level, the archbishop's remarks arrived during a particularly contentious political moment for reproductive rights, following the leak of a draft majority opinion suggesting the Supreme Court is poised to overturn federal abortion rights as protected under 1973's Roe v. Wade.