As the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has clout. In DC and no doubt in San Francisco that clout is reflected in an exclusivity of association. My bet is that she belongs to more than one club whose rules restrict membership to those in her financial and power bracket. Which, as they are likely private organizations, is fine.

But there is another group in San Francisco that has certain rules. It is known as the Roman Catholic Church. Its local branch is the Archdiocese of San Francisco and its head is Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone (cool how much that sounds like Corleone).

He recently reminded Pelosi of the rules of the faith she chooses to belong to, “A Catholic legislator who supports procured abortion, after knowing the teaching of the Church, commits a manifestly grave sin which is a cause of most serious scandal to others. Therefore, universal Church law provides that such persons ‘are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.’ ”

Cordileone wrote to her on April 7, telling her that “should you not publicly repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Pelosi chose to ignore that warning.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is explicit on the question: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the catechism says. “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,” it says, calling abortion and abetting abortion “abominable crimes.”

It further states that “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.”

As such, the Archbishop had no choice but to declare Friday, “Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care” (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.” he said. Even the very liberal Pope Francis has said, “Whoever has an abortion kills. It is a human life.”

As someone who grew up Roman Catholic Pelosi knew the teaching of her church. She deliberately flouted those rules because she thought her power and position would protect her from the consequences of her actions. In fact, it has until now. However, she did not count on the courage and dedication to the faith of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco. Well done, Padre. May other clerics find the clarity of thought and action that you so splendidly exhibit.