(CNSNews.com) - San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, whose archdiocese includes all of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s congressional district, issued a statement on Thursday rebuking Pelosi for a statement she made at her press briefing that day explaining why she is pushing for federal funding of abortion.
At her briefing, Pelosi had an exchange with a reporter about the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill for fiscal 2022 that is moving through the House and that, as the Appropriations Committee puts it, includes "repealing the discriminatory Hyde Amendment."
The Hyde Amendment is language that has long been included in annual federal appropriations laws to prohibited federal funding of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.
In explaining why she wants to repeal the Hyde Amendment and, thus, allow federal funding of abortion, Pelosi told the reporter that she is a “devout Catholic.”
“As a devout Catholic and mother of five in six years, I feel that God blessed my husband and me with our beautiful family–five children in six years, almost to the day. But it's not up to me to dictate that that's what other people should do,” Pelosi said. “And it's an issue of fairness and justice for poor women in our country.”
Later that day, Archbishop Cordileone put out a statement. It was headlined: “Statement of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defending efforts to permit federal funding of elective abortions.”
“Let me repeat: no one can claim to be a devout Catholic and condone the killing of innocent human life, let alone have the government pay for it,” said the archbishop.
“The right to life is a fundamental–the most fundamental–human right, and Catholics do not oppose fundamental human rights,” he said. “To use the smokescreen of abortion as an issue of health and fairness to poor women is the epitome of hypocrisy: what about the health of the baby being killed?
“What about giving poor women real choice, so they are supported in choosing life?” said the archbishop. “This would give them fairness and equality to women of means, who can afford to bring a child into the world.
“It is people of faith who run pro-life crisis pregnancy clinics; they are the only ones who provide poor women life-giving alternatives to having their babies killed in their wombs,” he said. “I cannot be prouder of my fellow Catholics who are so prominent in providing this vital service. To them I say: you are the ones worthy to call yourselves ‘devout Catholics’!”