Pope Benedict yesterday met Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House in Washington DC. A self-described ‘ardent Catholic’, like many other ‘Catholic’ legislators in the USA and elsewhere, she is strongly pro-abortion.
Some Catholics criticised Pope Benedict for meeting the Speaker. As a head of state, the pope has to meet many leaders with whose views he cannot agree. As a pastor he has to teach. In this brief meeting yesterday, he surely fulfilled both roles with grace.
Here is the Vatican statement about the meeting:
'Following the General Audience the Holy Father briefly greeted Mrs Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, together with her entourage. His Holiness took 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 which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.'
Here is Nancy Pelosi’s statement, issued later than the Vatican one, after the meeting:
'It is with great joy that my husband, Paul, and I met with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today. In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the church’s leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father’s dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel. I was proud to show His Holiness a photograph of my family’s papal visit in the 1950s, as well as a recent picture of our children and grandchildren.'
Source for both statements: Catholic Online
Interesting that Pope Benedict focused on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, while Mrs Pelosi’s statement doesn’t mention this at all. I wonder if she sees the inherent contradiction in her proudly showing photos of her children and grandchildren to Pope Benedict while she votes to deny the children and grandchildren of others the right to be born.