Conspicuous by his silence was Archbishop Niederauer of Pelosi's home diocese of San Francisco. Well, better late than never. Archbishop Niederauer finally released a statement on the matter today. In just under 2,000 ponderous, rambling words, the Archbishop manages to say very little by way of a direct rebuttal of Pelosi's words. Nor does he highlight the grave sin it is to spread un-Catholic teachings in the guise of Catholicism. Nor does he make it clear that individuals who are public advocates of abortion should not approach the sacraments.
Instead, the archbishop closes with the following words:
I regret the necessity of addressing these issues in so public a forum, but the widespread consternation among Catholics made it unavoidable. Speaker Pelosi has often said how highly she values her Catholic faith, and how much it is a source of joy for her. Accordingly, as her pastor, I am writing to invite her into a conversation with me about these matters. It is my obligation to teach forthrightly and to shepherd caringly, and that is my intent. Let us pray together that the Holy Spirit will guide us all toward a more profound understanding and appreciation for human life, and toward a resolution of these differences in truth and charity and peace.Yes, a conversation. I'll be interested to see how Nancy Pelosi responds to this request.
One can only hope that the Archbishop is made of sterner stuff behind closed doors than he is in public.