Pope snubs bishop feuding with Pelosi, promotes lower-ranking one who defends pro-choice politicians

McElroy previously warned against denying the sacrament to pro-choice politicians

Updated: May 29, 2022 - 9:58pm

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Pope Francis on Sunday announced the promotion of San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy to cardinal, passing over the higher-ranked San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who said earlier this month that he would bar House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from receiving communion due to her political stance on abortion.

By naming McElroy as one of 21 new cardinals on Sunday, Pope Francis seemingly passed over the more senior-ranked Cardileone, Fox News reported.

When U.S. bishops were debating whether to change their policy on communion in 2021, McElroy warned against denying the sacrament to pro-choice politicians.

"The Eucharist is being weaponized and deployed as a tool in political warfare. This must not happen," the San Diego bishop wrote in May of last year for America, a Jesuit magazine.

"The proposal to exclude pro-choice Catholic political leaders from the Eucharist is the wrong step," he said. "It will bring tremendously destructive consequences—not because of what it says about abortion, but because of what it says about the Eucharist."

Archbishop Cordileone congratulated McElroy on the promotion. He will be formally elevated to cardinal on Aug. 27 at St. Peter's Basicilica in Rome.

Cordileone wrote in a letter to Pelosi earlier this month: "[Y]ou are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance."

Pelosi fired back last week by calling out what she feels is a hypocritical stance on abortion and the death penalty within the Catholic Church.

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