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Pelosi & the pope: Talk about an odd couple

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi greets Pope Benedict XVI with First Lady Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice looking on

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), on an official visit to Italy, is scheduled to visit with the pope Wednesday at the Vatican.

They certainly have enough to talk about.

The Vatican is said to be fuming that President Obama, in his first days in office, overturned a ban on using U.S. dollars to fund abortions overseas. The Vatican also frowns on U.S. approval for the first human trials using embryonic stem cells. And of course Pope Benedict XVI has said that abortion-rights Catholics like Pelosi should not receive Communion.

As for Pelosi, she might want to ask the pope about his recent decision to rehabilitate a bishop who denied the existence of the Holocaust, or his appointment of a bishop in Austria who had blamed the sins of New Orleans residents for the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

All of which is likely to fuel a continuing debate in Catholic circles, as the New York Times put it, about whether this pope's focus on doctrine could alienate mainstream Catholics like Pelosi.

The two have met before. In fact, when she received the pope on a visit to the U.S. last year, Pelosi gave him the respectful greeting of a hand kiss.

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-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (17)

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I believe I can assure you that the head of the Catholic Church in the World will not be concerned about alienation of the so called "mainstream" Catholics in America in speaking to Pelosi. She is simply a racial extremist. The African-American population in the U.S. is @ 10-15% but 35% plus abortions are performed on African-Americans. Planned Parenthood was founded by a person and followed by other persons who want a "pure" race so it is little wonder that their objective is to limit reproduction of what they deem an adulterated race of people. Further, do the math. How many abortion clinics are owned or operated by an African-America company or persons of African-America descent? NONE The Holy Father cares for "life" and not "racial destruction". .

"mainstream Catholics like Pelosi" -- really? I didn't know she's mainstream

To Johanna Neuman and others who might not know: Catholics do not kiss the Pope's hand, but his ring as honor to his office, the Vicar of Christ.


As a cradle Catholic, I don't know what a mainstream Catholic is. I don't think Nancy Pelosi is one, though, unless rejecting doctrine and tradition is included in the definition.

Speaker Pelosi is pretending to be Catholic.

Don't confuse her with the real thing.

Father forgive her for screwing-up the country!!!

Leave it to a liberal rag like the New York Times to suggest that Nancy Pelosi is a mainstream Catholic. The Times knows nothing about Catholicism. Remember, these are the people who hired Jason Blair. I will be very disappointed if the Pope allows Pelosi to receive Holy Communion.
David C Roberts

Pelosi has done much damage to the Catholic church in America. She is a heretic who has spread false doctrine in order to support her political agenda. There is so much mis-information about the Catholic church from those outside the demonination, and she is only adding to that. It's deceptive and reckless and I hope the Pope sets her straight!

I will pray for the enlighten of Mrs. Pelosi and her conversion.

"The Vatican is said to be fuming..." This is such a throw-away line. Said by whom? What kind of reporting is this? Doesn't strike this reader as particularly professional.

Bitter gadflies are filled with their "the Vatican MUST be fuming" statements but, in fact, the Vatican has been markedly silent. Silence doesn't provide the impassioned news bite, does it? So inventiveness will have to do.

Catholic doctrine is the heart and soul of the Church. No one who loves the Church is remotely concerned with the fact that this Pope, like all Popes, "focuses" on doctrine. How could a focus on doctrine "alienate" a Catholic when the Chuch's doctine is part and parcel of the Church itself? To say that the Church's doctrine "alienates" Catholics is akin to saying that Jesus's teachings "alienates" his disciples.

"As for Pelosi, she might want to ask the pope about his recent decision to rehabilitate a bishop who denied the existence of the Holocaust..." What might she ask the Pope? Why he showed mercy to an unrepentant sinner? I doubt that Ms. Pelosi will protest too much about this, give that she is obviously banking on the same treatment.

"Mainstream catholics like Pelosi?.... you are a gutter goat."

Would the pope and the whole catholic church just go away !

Stop molesting children!!! And shut up! I

wouldnt put up with any other world leader telling America what to do... and I wont hear it from a man the wears a dress and wasnt elected by anyone!


Nancy Pelosi represents the mainstream American Catholic pro-choice position well. Most American Catholics voted for Obama, who is pro-choice. The Catholic Church holds little clout in today's world. Pelosi must be deeply religious and deeply Catholic. She must be in some turmoil over her meeting with the Pope this round, based on the press release from the Vatican. The Church is inflexible and out of touch in its moral teachings. Pelosi should not quit the Church. Of course, that is not an option for her. May she pray to God for resolution here. May God Bless her and keep her and give her peace.

Why was this trip necessary? This was not official business. She even took 6 house members AND her husband. All on out taxes dollars, during these economic times! America, we need to revolt!

So how many Catholic priests who have buggered little boys over the years have been denied communion in the church? Catholics with their holier than everyone attitude and their deep seated misogyny make me sick.

George Fulmore writes: "Pelosi should not quit the Church. Of course, that is not an option for her." -- why not?


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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