On Saturday, United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Pope Francis to discuss various issues, one of which includes climate change. However, the house speaker’s scheduled reading at a Catholic mass in Rome, Italy, was canceled due to the violence.
Pelosi’s canceled event
Reports claimed that Pelosi was escorted out of the said Catholic mass due to security concerns with the protests. However, it was clarified by CBS News’ foreign correspondent Chris Livesay that the visiting house speaker has nothing to do with the protest as he described it as something of a wild story and coincidence.
He added that Pelosi is in Rome for a summit of parliamentary leaders who have flocked together at a United Nations summit focused on climate change.
The speaker’s stance
CBSN anchor Lana Zak then mentioned an ongoing debate within the Catholic community about whether public officials like Pelosi, who support abortion rights, should be allowed to receive communion and asked if this topic came up with Pope Francis.
It was learned that this was not clear if such a topic came up. Further, Pope Francis did not issue any statement as this is only done if the Pope meets up with heads of state. Pelosi did issue a statement, though nothing was mentioned about abortion.
Pope Francis on abortion and receiving communion
Pope Francis is against abortion. However, the Pope made it clear that he is a pastor and has never denied communion to anyone. Livesay also said that the Pope mentioned that if one begins to question denying someone communion based on their political beliefs, then that person ceases to be a pastor.
The speaker’s visit to Rome began on October 7, where she addressed the G-20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit. This is ahead of the G-20 summit of world leaders in Rome that will be taking place later this month.
Pelosi’s visit to the Vatican takes place weeks before U.S. President Joe Biden’s meeting with Pope Francis. Biden is the first Catholic U.S. president elected since President John F. Kennedy. His scheduled meeting with the current Pope will be their first in-person encounter since Biden assumed office in January.