Friday, April 18, 2008
Associated Press: Abortion-rights lawmakers to receive Communion, by Laurie Kellman:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Catholic members of Congress who publicly support the right to abortion will trek to Nationals Park Thursday for a Mass celebrated by a pope who has said such lawmakers should not receive Communion.
Leading these lawmakers, some of whom have repeatedly complained about remarks by Pope Benedict XVI and a few bishops on the subject, will be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the government's highest-ranking Catholic and a supporter of abortion rights. Nowhere in her remarks or her actions this week has she referred to strains with the new pontiff.
Instead, she bent to kiss his ring at the White House Wednesday as Benedict arrived in a blaze of pageantry, and later she spoke glowingly on the House floor about his commitment to truth, justice and freedom. A week before he arrived, the House passed a resolution welcoming him to Washington.
And yes, her spokesman said, she intends to receive Communion from one of the 300 priests and lay ministers who will offer it to the gathered flock of 45,000.
Benedict's stance on abortion and Communion has been painful for elected officials who inhabit the troubled zone where Catholicism and their political beliefs intersect.