Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

A Catholic website is launching a petition that targets Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling on church leaders to discipline them by withholding communion because they “not only disregard the Church’s teachings … but actively and publicly promote policies and legislation that undermines, opposes and contradicts the church.”

The petition is being promoted by, which explained is it not only the right of Catholic church members to call for the discipline, it is their responsibility.

Pelosi, who has described herself as an ardent Catholic, consistently has adopted pro-abortion positions on legislation. She  is scheduled in coming days to visit Pope Benedict XVI.

The nationwide “Withholding Communion” petition’s goal “is to gather at least one million petitions for presentation to the U.S. bishops and the Vatican,” website spokesman Jeff Jones said today.

Explained the website, “The basis for withholding communion is Canon 915, which stipulates that those ‘obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.'”

“Most Catholics don’t know that, in addition to Canon 915, Canon law also compels Catholics to take action,” the petition organizers said.

“Canon 212 Paragraph 3 states that the Catholic faithful have ‘the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.’

“While the Catholic faithful understand and support the behind-the-scenes dialogue and diplomacy that goes on with prominent Catholics, by the bishops, to reconcile them with the church – when such dissent continues for years and in some cases decades – in spite of the actions and activities that have been undertaken by past and present bishops – then it becomes necessary for a bishop to take a formal public stand to prevent further scandal,” said a statement released by the website.

“Unfortunately what has happened is that dissenting Catholics have continued to receive Holy Communion with impunity – and this has led to the false impression that the church condones or at least tolerates such dissenting opinions on serious moral issues such as abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research to name a few.

“Not only do these prominent Catholics disregard the church’s teachings, but in many cases they actively and publicly promote policies and legislation that undermines, opposes and contradicts the church’s teachings. An example of two such Catholics would be Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and Vice President, Joseph Biden,” the statement said.

WND left messages with media offices for both Pelosi and Biden seeking comment, but neither returned the call.

The conflict between members faithful to the Catholic church’s teachings and Catholic politicians who back pro-abortion legislation isn’t new.

As WND reported, the Catholic archbishop of San Francisco sought to schedule a meeting with Pelosi to talk about statements he contended were in opposition to the church’s teachings.

WND reported 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 bishops 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.

WND also reported that when Biden was asked when life begins, he said, “I know when it begins for me.”

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