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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Pelosi?

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Posted on July 20 2010 12:00 pm
Lisa Graas has covered politics and religion at her blog LisaGraas.com since 2008. She has served as a crisis pregnancy counselor, youth speaker, mental health advocate and legislative consultant.

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Nancy Pelosi

She’d outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was still a young woman, these words were penned by Oscar Hammerstein for the 1965 show tune “Maria“. They are the words of Catholic nuns describing the somewhat rebellious nature of Maria Von Trapp, lead character in The Sound of Music, during her stay in their Austrian abbey. Some might use similar language to describe Nancy Pelosi, but can we compare Pelosi to Maria Von Trapp?

Pelosi considers herself to be a devout Catholic but she has long been known to all but the invincibly ignorant as a champion of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the largest abortion provider in the nation.  We may now use the word literally as PPFA has conferred upon Pelosi their “Champion of Women’s Health Award” with much fanfare on Capitol Hill. The honor was bestowed primarily for her work in pushing through the Democrats’ massive health-care legislation despite pro-life attempts to ensure that it would not include federal funding of abortionPPFA President Cecile Richards said of Pelosi during the event, “She’s walked across hot coals for us.”

California Catholic Daily has offered a history of Nancy Pelosi’s conflicts with the Catholic Church on the abortion issue in an article highlighting the “rock star treatment” she received from PPFA.  The editor asks, “One question left unanswered: When will her bishop act to end these scandals to the faithful?”  It’s a question Catholics and non-Catholics alike have been asking for years.  There have even been appeals for the Pope to intervene.

How do you solve a problem like Pelosi?  The point many faithful Catholics are working hard to make is that her actions fall under the realm of  Canon 915, a provision of Church law dealing with excommunication.

Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Reading Canon 915, many consider it to be obvious that Nancy Pelosi should be excommunicated.  On the other hand, it seems just as “obvious” to those whose understanding of Catholicism is limited to what they learn from Hollywood that Pelosi is just the Congressional version of Maria Von Trapp.  The latter point, believe it or not, is actually quite relevant to this discussion.

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