St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri
Saturday, May 21, 2022

Nancy Pelosi and the Catholic Archbishop the Episcopal bishop, and Jesus
Who decides?
If you have been paying attention to the news at all, you know that Speaker, Nancy Pelosi has been denied communion in her Catholic church in California. In an announcement that he also tweeted out, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone notified Pelosi that her staunch support of abortion and her refusal to personally explain her position to him forced his hand. “After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” he said. Now technically he has the canonical authority to make this decision to require his clergy to refuse her communion. Whether it is wise is another question entirely.And whether his assessment of what constitutes “grave evil” is correct is another. And whether her soul is in “danger” is yet another. But his decision is, in any case, in direct contradiction to Pope Francis who has made it abundantly clear that no US politician is to be banned from communion for not opposing public abortion policy.

What is this really about?
But in fact, this isn’t about any real concern for her. If it were, it would have been conveyed to her privately, and not publicly announced and tweeted. This is really a warning to all other Catholic women who might dare to support abortion rights. It is just another attempt by a religious man with power to impose it on women. Again. It’s a pattern of control. But it does raise the question about “worthiness” – and who should approach the table of the Lord, And a whole lot of voices have already weighed in. They say it better than I would. But just for the record, I have never, ever refused communion to anyone, and I never, ever would. John D. Whitney, SJ
A brilliant reflection by a US Roman Catholic, Jesuit priest.” I want to write a longer piece about those bishops who seek to keep some from the table of Christ, but for now I will say this: It is not your table (nor mine.)Bishops and priests, are neither the hosts, nor the bouncers, nor the ones who wrote the guest list. The Eucharist is the resurrected body of Christ given for the life of the world. Jesus Christ is the one who invited the guests (“all you who labor”); he is the host of those who come; he is the setter of the table; and he is the feast which is shared (“Take this all of you…this is my body; this is my blood.”) We are guests at the meal, and sometimes, by his calling, servers. So stay in your lane, please. The wait staff does not get to exclude those who want to come.If you don’t like the company Christ calls, (and admittedly, it is a rag tag bunch of sinners, one and all) it’s you who need to leave the table, not them.”

John Pavlovitz – Protestant
The “table ministry” of Jesus was a constant throughout the Gospel stories; an embodiment of inclusion, of invitation, of all being welcome at his table. Over and over, Jesus used the act of sharing a meal with someone, of breaking bread with disparate people to let them know they were seen and loved and accepted. He dined with priest and prostitute, with his disciples and his adversaries, with the religious elite and street rabble. The is no scenario in which anyone was refused. If everyone with “unrepentant sin” were excluded from communion this Sunday, every table would be empty, including of the clergy.That’s not how this works.Someone else’s moral worthiness before God is above your pay grade, outside of your jurisdiction, and none of your business.You get to set the table.You don’t get to police it.
Marc AndrusEpiscopal Bishop of California
As the Episcopal bishop of California, I want to speak to the public announcement that Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be denied communion in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and to say that Speaker Pelosi is welcome to communion in all Episcopal churches in the Bay area, as I am sure she is welcome to many faith communities everywhere. I support Speaker Pelosi in her clear commitment to women, children, and families, her evident deep, personal faith and her embrace of a country founded on principles that include, importantly, separation of church and state. Further, my statement is aligned with the policy of the Episcopal Church that affirms a call for “…women’s reproductive health and reproductive health procedures to be treated as all other medical procedures.” Further, our Episcopal Church position declares “that equitable access to women’s health care, including women’s reproductive health care, is an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being.”For millions of Christians worldwide, receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, also known as Communion, or the Mass, is central to their faith practice. This sacrament of Christ’s Last Supper, a shared meal of bread and wine, is a sacred time of spiritual nourishment for the faithful of my denomination, the Episcopal Church, and for many others, perhaps most notably, the Orthodox and Roman Catholic branches of the Christian faith. As someone who has known Speaker Nancy Pelosi for more than 16 years, I believe she is greatly strengthened by the Sacrament she receives in her Church the Roman Catholic Church. In the midst of heavy legislative duties, and during times of travel, I have seen her over and over again, make time to attend Eucharist. She does this not only on Sundays, but also on Church feast days, such is the importance of the Sacrament to her faith practice.I have also heard her time and time again, reference knowledgeably and reverently the content of her faith as the wellspring from which her leadership comes.This sincere and enduring faith with the Sacrament of Communion at its center, has fueled Speaker Pelosi’s tireless and historic efforts to stand in solidarity with vulnerable and oppressed people everywhere, women and children especially. Now with the future of women’s reproductive healthcare in the United States imperiled by the Supreme Court’s apparent stance on Roe v Wade, I would argue that she needs the nurturing Sacrament of Holy Communion more than ever. The health and, in many cases, the very lives of women, children and families, – all part of God’s beloved human family – are at stake.I do not imagine nor suggest that Speaker Pelosi should abandon the Church she loves so much and to which she has been faithful her whole life.However, speaking as the leader of the Episcopal Church of the Bay Area, let me humbly reiterate that every Episcopal congregation in the Bay Area will welcome Nancy Pelosi, as we welcome all who wish to join us to the table of Jesus Christ, the Holy Eucharist.Our beloved Speaker Pelosi is not alone in this moment, rather, as Jesus assured his terrified, confused followers in the days before his arrest and execution by the Roman Empire, God has given the world the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very presence of God, present to all, and That Spirit is certainly present to Nancy Pelosi. Speaker Pelosi has my gratitude for her leadership, my support, and my prayers
The Rt Rev. Marc Andrus, PhDBishop of the Episcopal Diocse of California



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