Separation of Church and State

San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone issued a notice Friday that he would no longer allow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to receive Communion, an escalation of his feud with the Catholic Democrat over abortion politics. The Archbishop said that he had warned Pelosi in April that she must either repudiate her support of abortion rights or not refer to her Catholicism in justifying them.

I’m not Catholic, so I don’t know what Communion is or how big a deal not receiving Communion is. It must be serious though, because an article about it appeared on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle this morning.

But I do know that Nancy Pelosi is a United States Congressperson who holds the office of Speaker of the House of the U.S. House of Representatives. The people she represents are not all Catholics and the majority of her constituents support abortion rights. A Pew Research survey last spring found that 67% of American Catholics support pro-abortion rights politicians like Pelosi and Biden receiving Communion.

Pelosi is a politician whose job it is to represent the interests of her constituents. She is not a church leader. Archbishop Cordileone is a religious leader and is not a politician. Just as political leaders should not discriminate against or punish their constituents for their religious beliefs, church leaders should not discriminate against or punish their flocks for their political beliefs.

In fact, even Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, when asked about the effort by U.S. bishops to refuse Communion to public figures who support abortion rights, said that he never denies anyone Communion, and urged bishops to be pastors, not politicians.

And let’s not forget that one of the core principles of America is, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, the separation of church and state.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people, which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.

To the Archbishop of San Francisco and other members of the Catholic clergy who wish to punish members of their church who don’t oppose abortion rights, I suggest you at least heed the words of your own Pope, if not those of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.

44 thoughts on “Separation of Church and State

  1. Mister Bump UK May 21, 2022 / 11:57 am

    Has this guy banned all pro-abortion women, or just her?
    I don’t really see this is anytghing to do with abortion, per se (see? you should have posted this yesterday 🤣) but more fundamentally somebody’s right to gag somebody else’s opinion. About anything.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 21, 2022 / 1:10 pm

      I think it’s just her because she’s a politician and an influential woman.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mister Bump UK May 21, 2022 / 1:23 pm

        so, basically, the guy thinks he has the right to gag people who he considers have a high-enough profile.
        Doesn’t really show the Catholics in a good light, does it? Not when a guy with such little regard for freedom of speech can rise to such a prominent position. But this is exactly why churches are become irrelevant. People look at this and say “ugggh”,

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Vic Crain May 21, 2022 / 12:10 pm

    For good or ill, it’s not unusual for church leaders to take political stands. Sometimes we applaud the stands (abolition of slavery, civil rights) and sometimes we don’t (Evangelical support for trump and the abortion controversy). Pope Francis is being philosophically consistent, the Archbishop is not. The separation of church and state originated in the countries of Europe having government mandated religions and the liberal belief that the government should not control what you think. The Pope worked as an advocate for the poor and for human rights before becoming Pope, hence the consistency. The Archbishop is part of the conservative sea anchor that prevents the Catholic Church from doing more.

    Personally, I believe that what modern churches teach — including evangelicals — is a severe perversion of the original teachings. Francis to some extent represents an effort to return to the spirit of those teachings, which may account for the amount of flak he has received in his tenure. To use an direct financial comparison, image telling bankers that it is no longer ethically acceptable to charge interest on loans. (Indeed, the Muslim faith for centuries, working from the same religious sources, forbid lending at interest.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 21, 2022 / 1:27 pm

      I agree that the conservative factions of religions seem to inappropriately cross the line in the sand between religion and politics. The church has, in my opinion, has become more of a force to divide and separate than to unite and bring us together.

      Like

  3. Carol anne May 21, 2022 / 1:46 pm

    I agree, they should heed the words of pope frances! Not recieving communion is a big deal when your catholic and practicing. X

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Marleen May 21, 2022 / 2:25 pm

    I think she spends most of her time in DC. Thus, I’d suppose this won’t affect her as much as the fella targeting an influential woman would want. Meanwhile, it’s difficult to reconcile the idea of the Pope with the notion of a cardinal being in charge of San Francisco.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Richmond Road May 21, 2022 / 4:39 pm

    On the one hand it strikes me as simply an act of grandstanding by a modern-day witch doctor, and therefore laughable. On the other hand I find the notion that a women of such influence indulges herself in these acts of mumbo-jumbo a bit alarming, though sadly not uncommon.
    Why is it that we choose to seperate church and state? Surely if one believes that God rules the universe and all of creation then it would be perverse not to hand Him the keys of the city. Could it be that, in our heart of hearts, we all acknowledge that fairy tales and ancient rituals, whilst potentially comforting, have no place in reality?
    Coincidentally, here in Oz, our Prime Minister, a Pentecostal who declared his last election win to be a ‘miracle’ (which, I guess, it actually was, to a degree) has been voted out of office this time around.
    And I would say, “thank God for that!” were it not so self contradictory.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marleen May 21, 2022 / 5:36 pm

      Great post.

      There’s so much that could be said on this topic, and I had skipped the “why does Nancy do this” part; so much can be said only about that aspect.

      As for separation of church and state, it’s fine for one reason to be that some people think faith [just a word I’m picking for shorthand] has nothing to do with reality. Another reason, which is mine, is that it’s too easy for a person claiming religious reasons to become a tyrant as is the history of the “established” church — not that there haven’t been tyrants of all sorts (including non-religious and anti-religious, not only religiously hypocritical or opportunistic).

      My most recent point of view on Nancy, with her having said multiple times that she wants there to be a strong Republican Party, is that she’s more of a “moderate Republican” in style than what I view as a true progressive.

      I agree with your view on grandstanding. And it disturbs me that your (I take it currently but not-for-long serving) prime minister called his prior win a miracle. My dad was Catholic in his upbringing, and he returned to attending in his latter years. I had found some of the rituals pleasant enough (although I have not once partaken of “the” Eucharist, in principle, over the fact there was so much prejudice against non-Catholics when my parents married as, I suppose, my dad was supposed to abandon the woman who was going to have his child). After my dad’s death, my mom converted to Catholicism (what the actual hell is up with that); she understands nothing about anything, and it can really turn my stomach to go in there. Then, one day, I went when she had not gotten ready in time for me to take her (although she lies, like a devil, to people that I refuse to take her despite my willingness to take her every week). On this occasion, the priest giving the homily that day launched into a theretofore unheard of bigotry in that individual place vilifying Protestants philosophically. Not only that, his summation was a false and foolish ship on which to embark. I know Protestant debates, having gone to Lutheran schools (besides having done a very hugely large lot of research).

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen May 21, 2022 / 5:48 pm

        My school for first and second grades (because they would take me into first grade at the age of five rather than requiring me to go through kindergarten) was run by a denomination that isn’t always tinged with “the charismatic” (often called Pentecostal while that’s separate denomination) but was at that church (thankfully not in the school except that children of leadership, especially if male, were preferred over a naive daughter of a short-skirt-wearing cute little lady).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen May 21, 2022 / 6:11 pm

          And yet, miraculously, every place I was (in my childhood) sorted these things out via the principal getting involved. Whether at a public school or private school, religious or more separated, every backstop of authority was sensible.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Richmond Road May 21, 2022 / 6:30 pm

        Ha ha! They haven’t actually finished counting the votes yet, but Mr Scott Morrison (formally known as ‘Scotty from Marketing’) is on the way out. A professed ‘Christian’, he wasn’t beyond openly playing the racist card (notably quite loudly on the night before voting was set to begin), downplaying some shocking acts of misogyny in parliament and backing a candidate who described the ‘anti transgender movement’ (is there such a movement???) as equivalent to those opposing the holocaust.
        He is of that particular brand of Christian who stands in church with head bowed low but with hand held up high as though trying to ask a question of the teacher.
        Well …. he asked a question of the Australian public and they said, “no, thank you.”

        I know things are a bit different in the USA. Apart from having a very different form of government your particular invading race are of puritanical origins, whilst we are the descendants of convicted criminals. It tends to make us a bit more distrusting of authority and more sensitive to bullshit, perhaps.
        Churches in Australia are more and more becoming empty decaying monuments to another world.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Marleen May 21, 2022 / 9:24 pm

            … appears Apple hasn’t gotten that emoji worked out yet.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango May 21, 2022 / 11:11 pm

      I think the issue is that those who believe that God rules the universe and all of creation are desperately trying to impose those beliefs, which are based upon fairytales and myths, upon the rest of us who believe those fairytales and myths have no place in reality.

      Like

      • Marleen May 21, 2022 / 11:18 pm

        I think the Tennessee preacher in the news, recently, is a performer (like so many).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marleen May 21, 2022 / 11:21 pm

        Let me put it another way. Do you think Nancy doesn’t believe in God? (Of course she may or may not no matter what you or I think about her, but it’s relevant.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango May 21, 2022 / 11:26 pm

          I don’t know whether or not she believes in God, but I assume, since she’s a practicing Catholic, that she does. That said, her beliefs are her business and as long as she doesn’t try to impose her beliefs on others, I don’t care whether or not she believes in God.

          Like

          • Marleen May 22, 2022 / 9:16 am

            I think the issue is that those who believe that God rules the universe and all of creation are desperately trying to impose those beliefs, which are based upon fairytales and myths, upon the rest of us who believe those fairytales and myths have no place in reality.

            Maybe I should’ve been asking you not if she believes in God but if you think Nancy believes “that God rules the universe and all of creation” or whether she is “trying to impose those beliefs, which are based upon fairytales and myths, upon the rest of us.” I assume she does believe in God.

            Or is the cardinal trying to make a statement to his flock? Or are they (Nancy and the cardinal) in some kind of cahoots together? Remember the fella who pre-agreed to being arrested for teaching about Darwin in order to have a spectacle trial for the purpose of getting his city on the map? I wonder, for instance, if her statements about wanting a strong Republican Party were her view of trying to comply with not upsetting her diocese or whatever it’s called.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango May 22, 2022 / 5:12 pm

              Will we ever know for sure? I do think one can believe in God and even actively practice their religion but, at the same time, recognize and appreciate the difference between religious dogma and public policy.

              Like

      • Richmond Road May 22, 2022 / 12:50 am

        Quite so. But it remains a little disturbing to discover how many of those who embrace such beliefs are in positions of power within a system that effectively states such beliefs to be inappropriate.
        I can sort of understand that we should behave, and our leaders should behave, ‘as if’ God existed. But behaving that way ‘because’ God exists is quite another matter.
        I’m perfectly happy to listen to someone’s personal opinion as to whether or not abortion is right or wrong. But for them to claim inside knowledge on God’s opinion of the matter is not only utterly ridiculous but entirely cowardly. God likes guns too, apparently. Or maybe He doesn’t. He’s been a bit vague about that. That God, historically, has been a bit inconsistent on a few of these issues is something, at least, that He has in common with most politicians.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Lou Carreras May 21, 2022 / 7:30 pm

    It’s right back to the old days. Kiss the ring, do what the priest said. I got the hell out of that at age fourteen. I still am a christian, but not any kind that sanctimonious a- holes wood recognize. and as a previous poster has mentioned churches are emptying. Largely because people have learned hoe empty the threats of the priest are.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Marilyn Armstrong May 21, 2022 / 8:44 pm

    There was a time when the Catholic Church functioned as an actual state. In theory, they gave that up about 400 years ago, but I think they just can’t help themselves.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Lolsy's Library May 21, 2022 / 11:32 pm

    America’s screwed. In all seriousness though, I remember seeing a Catholic woman post about how angry she was, because her Pastor/Priest, had called police to make sure that people were wearing masks and were vaccinated, before coming into the Church. All these so-called “religious people” were angry with the Priest. And I kept trying to explain to them, as an agnostic person, that’s the Priests job, he’s there to PROTECT his “flock”. How come I got that, and they did not?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango May 21, 2022 / 11:48 pm

      Because you’re a logical, rational person. And many religious people are neither logical nor rational.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. amyspeaks May 22, 2022 / 1:27 am

    This is what is wrong with religion. Money, greed, and radicalism. I have my faith, and I am so glad that I have learned my own way. Idk who this guy thinks he is to tell someone what they can and cannot do with their time and opinions…beliefs and morals, but that seems to be the sign of these times anymore too. False prophets…end of times…not too far away it seems.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Nope, Not Pam May 22, 2022 / 4:04 am

    Stupidity gets even more stupid 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marleen June 30, 2022 / 10:21 am

      Of course, that was Amnesty International.

      And now this:

      https://www.npr.org/2022/06/29/1108548298/pelosi-vatican-communion-abortion-rights

      ROME — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Pope Francis on Wednesday and received Communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, witnesses said, despite her position in support of abortion rights.

      Pelosi attended the morning Mass marking the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul, during which Francis bestowed the woolen pallium stole on newly consecrated archbishops. She was seated in a VIP diplomatic section of the basilica and received Communion along with the rest of the congregants, according to two people who witnessed the moment.

      … [San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore] Cordileone, a conservative, has said Pelosi must either repudiate her support for abortion or stop speaking publicly of her Catholic faith.

      Pelosi has done neither. …

      I disagree.

      The then-head of the Vatican’s doctrine office, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — the future Pope Benedict XVI — told U.S. bishops in 2004 that priests “must” deny the sacrament if a politician goes to receive Communion despite an “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin,” including the sin of consistently campaigning for permissive abortion laws.

      ….

      Like

  11. rugby843 May 22, 2022 / 11:48 am

    Maybe he’s running or planning on running for office. All of these religious zealots are putting themselves before the golden rule which is the basic tenet of any organized religion

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 2 people

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