THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: The gauntlet has been thrown, and the fight is on! There are two doctrines at stake here, but only one truth. On the left, we have the "Cafeteria Catholicism" of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who accurately represents the views of most Catholic members in the U.S. Congress, as well as a sizable number of American Catholics in general. On the right, we have Pope Benedict XVI, who represents the established orthodoxy of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Each person espouses a different Catholicism, and the whole world it watching.
It has been revealed that Speaker Pelosi had a private meeting with her own bishop on February 8 of this year. During that meeting, Archbishop Niederauer reminded her of the clear teaching of the Church on human life, and that Catholic politicians are not permitted to oppose it in either word or action. Having not gotten the answer she wanted, she went directly to the top, and inquired of the pope instead in a closed door meeting. From the Holy Father she received the exact same response, and was lectured for no less than 15 minutes on the responsibilities of Catholic politicians toward protecting the sanctity of human life. The Vatican released a statement giving a brief description of the meeting. Pelosi's press office also released a statement in which she failed to mention a word about the most important topic of the meeting - human life. It would appear that the Speaker intends to continue espousing her own views on this matter, and voting accordingly, regardless of what she was told by the pope and her bishop.
So just what are Speaker Pelosi's views on abortion? Let's let her explain herself in her own words...
Speaker Pelosi is playing a dangerous game, but she knows that if she wins, the established orthodoxy of the Catholic Church will be suppressed for at least a generation or two. Nobody old enough to remember this event will survive long enough to see it's undoing. Pelosi's version of American style Cafeteria Catholicism will have won the day, having defeated the Successor of Peter, and imposed it's own "orthodoxy" on the worldwide Church. How will she do it? Simple. All she has to do is NOT get excommunicated. All she has to do is REMAIN within the Church. So long as she continues to hold to her heretical position on abortion, and the leaders of the Church are unwilling to back their words with action, she wins. If she continues with this charade indefinitely, she will have demonstrated to all Americans, and Catholics throughout the world, that the faithful need not adhere to the Church's teachings on the sanctity of life. Any Catholic anywhere can support abortion-on-demand, and the bishops of the Church will be powerless to do anything about it. Even the pope of Rome will have to look the other way.
There is however, a lot more at stake than just that. Even if the pope, or her local bishop, finally decides to excommunicate her, she still has one card up her sleeve, and that is the issue of fairness. If she alone is excommunicated, and other politicians like her are not, she can claim the whole thing is all a political stunt, designed by the pope and/or her bishop to interfere in American politics. In other words, she's got a way to undermine the hierarchy even if they do the right thing by ejecting her from the Church. By claiming her excommunication is just a political stunt, she is effectively saying it's invalid, and thereby reasserting her previous position that it's okay for a Catholic to hold to a "pro-choice" stand. How can she do this? Simple. She can do it by simply pointing to her fellow Catholic politicians, who also happen to be "pro-choice" on abortion, but have not yet been excommunicated. Why was she excommunicated, and not them? Nothing could explain this other than a political stunt, and therein lies the rub. She's got the Church cornered, and she knows it. One way or another, the authority of the Church will soon be undermined in the worst way possible.
However, there is a way out, and it happens to be the right way. All the pope needs to do is insist, through official edict of the highest order, that the established law of the Church be enforced, and all pro-abortion Catholic politicians be excommunicated immediately. They can be given the customary thirty days to repent before the excommunication takes effect, but once it does, it has to be real and substantive. Speaker Pelosi, and her "pro-choice" Catholic gang in the U.S. House of Representatives have already been sufficiently warned. We could say the same of the U.S. Senate. Their excommunications should be immediate, and the pope himself should issue them.
If the Church takes some kind of action similar to that described above, it would be very difficult for Pelosi to counter with a credible argument. She could claim it was all a political stunt, but it's unlikely that anyone would believe her. It would also send shock waves through the whole Catholic world and beyond. Everybody would know that every single "pro-choice" Catholic member of the U.S. Congress has been excommunicated. The same would be trickling down to every state congress, as well as county and city governments. "Pro-choice" laity, not involved in politics, would certainly have their eyes opened and suddenly, people would start taking the Church's teaching on life seriously again.
Only God knows what will happen next. For now the pro-life teachings of the Church are viewed as little more than a paper tiger. Speaker Pelosi is calling the pope's bluff, and her gang of "pro-choice" Catholic politicians are ready to pass the "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA) to back her up.