Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver is in complete agreement with the message that Pope Benedict XVI delivered to Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. The archbishop also went so far as to say that since she disagrees with the Church on the "black and white issue" of abortion, she should not present herself for Communion.
The comments by Archbishop Chaput were made following Nancy Pelosi’s meeting with Pope Benedict, at which the Pope reminded the Speaker of the House that all legislators, but especially Catholics, are bound to protect human life from conception to natural death.
FOX News’ Neil Cavuto invited Archbishop Chaput to give his reaction to the Pope-Pelosi meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Cavuto began by pointing out the disparity between Pelosi’s statement about the meeting and the Pope’s.
"I got very different reads from both the Pope’s message of that meeting and the speaker’s, but the gist of the Pope’s is that, she has a duty to respect life, what did you make of that?" said Cavuto.
"Well it’s true," replied the archbishop. "Every Catholic, whether you’re famous or anonymous, whether you’re a public official or a private citizen, has a responsibility to be faithful to what the Church believes about human life, and we believe that human life is sacred and precious from the moment of conception. So that applies to the Speaker as well as it does to me and to you and to anyone who’s Catholic."
Referring to a previous interview regarding Pelosi’s comment that when life begins is not agreed upon by Catholic teaching, Cavuto asked, "isn’t it a fairly black and white issue?"
Chaput responded, "Well it’s not a fairly black and white issue, it’s a clearly black and white issue.
"The Church without a doubt believes that human life begins at the moment of conception," he said.
Cavuto also asked Archbishop Chaput if he would deny Holy Communion to Pelosi.
To which, the archbishop responded:
"Well, I’d like to talk to her if she’s coming to church in the Archdiocese of Denver and I’d say to her what I’d say to anyone, if you don’t accept what the Church teaches, you shouldn’t present yourself for Communion, because Communion means you’re in agreement with what the Church teaches, and, as I said to you earlier, that applies to all of us..."
Isn’t she boxed in by Catholic beliefs on the one hand and by a society that is pro-choice? Cavuto queried.
"Well I don’t think it’s a box to defend the truth and to stand up for what you know to be right, even if others in the community disagree with you, and being honest about our moral principles is a sign of maturity, is a sign of being a statesman.
"And I think that politicians are required to be both good Americans and good Catholics at the same time and to be convincing when they present the position of the community on basic human rights," the archbishop replied.
Referring to the issue of abortion, Archbishop Chaput said, "This is a human rights issue, from the point of view of the Church, and not a theological or religious perspective. Our religious perspective supports that, but that’s not the source of our belief about the sacredness of human life."