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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The Catholic archbishop of San Francisco is scheduling a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who represents the city in Congress, to talk about statements she’s made about abortion, statements that he already has described as in opposition to the teachings of the Catholic church.

WND reported earlier when Pelosi said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” about the beginning of life:

I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition … St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that’s just wrong.

“Since the first century the church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law,” the group said.

“Given the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception, the only moral norm needed to understand the Church’s opposition to abortion is the principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with the respect due to a human person. This is the foundation for the Church’s social doctrine. … Conversely, to claim that some live human beings do not deserve respect or should not be treated as ‘persons’ … is to deny the very idea of inherent human rights,” the group said.

The issue hits hard at the Democratic Party because the Democratic presidential nominee, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, is an ardent abortion proponent who has gone beyond the desires of even the National Abortion Rights Action League in advocating for the controversial procedure. In fact, as a state lawmaker in Illinois, he declined to support a requirement that an abortionist provide necessary medical services to a baby who survives an abortion, because it would be a burden on the abortionist.

Now, according to a report in The Hill, San Francisco Archbishop George H. Niederauer said he’d invited Pelosi to discuss the “serious conflict” between her statements and Catholic teaching and she has accepted.

He told the newspaper based on Catholic church statements it’s his responsibility to address whether she may continue to receive communion.

“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,” he wrote.

She responded, the report said, in a Sept. 5 letter welcoming the opportunity to discuss such “significant matters.”

Pelosi said if communion is withheld, a significant action for any Catholic to face, it would be serious for her.

“Fortunately for me, communion has not been withheld and I’m a regular communicant, so that would be a severe blow to me if that were the case,” she told the Hill.

But Niederauer said his responsibility appears to be clear, because the church teachings state: “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. … This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”

WND also reported that when Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden was asked a similar question, he said, “I know when it begins for me.”

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