.- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, addressing a May 6 Catholic conference on Capitol Hill, said she believes Catholics must pursue public policy in keeping with the values of âthe Word made fleshâ and must be prepared to answer to Jesus Christ for how their actions âmeasured up.â Pelosi, a pro-abortion rights Catholic, has been rebuked for her statements supporting abortion.
Her recent comments on religion came at the event âA Washington Briefing for the Nationâs Catholic Community,â sponsored by the National Catholic Reporter and Trinity Washington University.
According to CNSNews.com, Speaker Pelosi remarked:
âThey ask me all the time, âWhat is your favorite this? What is your favorite that?â And one time, âWhat is your favorite word?â And I said, âMy favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word.â
âAnd that Word is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isnât it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.
âFill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: âThe Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst usâ,â she continued, referring to the Prologue of the Gospel of Johnâs description of Jesus Christ.
âAnd thatâs the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure weâre prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.â
The San Francisco Democrat has a history of invoking religion. In March she invoked St. Joseph's intercession to help pass health care legislation.
She also has a history of run-ins with church authorities over her support for abortion.
In a February 2009 meeting with Speaker Pelosi at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI reiterated Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life.
After the meeting the Holy Seeâs press office reported that the Pontiff âtook the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.â
The press office added that these teachings enjoin all Catholics, âespecially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of societyâ to work together to create âa just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."
In an August 2008 interview with Meet the Press, Speaker Pelosi responded to a question about when human life begins by saying that âas an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition ... St. Augustine said at three months. We don't know. The point is, is that it shouldn't have an impact on the woman's right to choose.â
Her comments, which came just before the Democratic National Convention in Denver, drew correction from Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput. He said âardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil.â
Other politicians speaking at last monthâs Washington Briefing included Sen. Bob Casey, Jr. (D-Penn.), Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). Additional speakers were Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, and columnist E.J. Dionne.