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, 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.
She was seated next to her husband, Paul Pelosi, 82, who was charged last week with two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence in Napa County.
Pope Francis seldom distributes Communion, but he did give Pelosi a blessing.
Pelosi’s home archbishop, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, has said he will no longer allow her to receive the sacrament in his archdiocese because of her support for abortion rights. 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.
She called the recent Supreme Court ruling removing constitutional protections for abortion an "outrageous and heart-wrenching" decision that fulfils the Republican Party’s "dark and extreme goal of ripping away women’s right to make their own reproductive health decisions."
And she has spoken openly and knowledgeably about the Catholic faith, including at a diplomatic reception at the residence of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See on Tuesday evening marking Independence Day.
KTVU in Oakland contributed to this report.