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Pope meets Pelosi as abortion debate rages back home


VATICAN CITY, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Pope Francis met on Saturday with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who has come underneath criticism from some bishops within the United States for her help for abortion rights.

Their assembly befell a number of weeks earlier than Joe Biden is anticipated to fulfill the pope whereas the U.S. president is in Rome for talks between leaders of the Group of 20 main economies.

Biden, the second Catholic U.S. president, has mentioned he’s personally against abortion however, as a politician, can not impose his views. Pelosi, who has 5 kids, has mentioned she helps a girl’s proper to decide on.

Biden’s administration and Pelosi have urged judges to dam a brand new Texas regulation which bars abortions from six weeks, saying it’s unconstitutional. The ban was briefly reinstated on Friday by a conservative-leaning appeals court docket. learn extra

The Catholic Church teaches that human life begins in the meanwhile of conception and Biden and Pelosi have been criticised by conservative Catholic media and U.S. conservative bishops, a few of whom say neither must be allowed to obtain communion.

Last month the pope, requested concerning the U.S. communion debate, advised reporters abortion is “murder”, even quickly after conception, however appeared to criticise U.S. Catholic bishops for coping with the problem in a political moderately than pastoral method.

“Communion is not a prize for the perfect … communion is a gift, the presence of Jesus and his Church,” the pope said.

In June, a divided conference of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops voted to draft a statement on communion that some bishops say should specifically admonish Catholic politicians, including Biden. They take up the issue again next month.

The Vatican announced Pelosi’s audience with the pope in its daily bulletin but gave no details.

After Pelosi met former Pope Benedict in 2009, the Vatican said he had told her that legislators and other public figures should help create “a simply system of legal guidelines able to defending human life in any respect phases of its improvement”.

The archbishop in Pelosi’s home city of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has said public figures who support abortion should be denied communion in his archdiocese and has urged Catholics to pray for Pelosi’s “conversion of coronary heart”.

Cardinal Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., has not tried to stop Biden, a regular church-goer, from receiving communion.

Biden’s meeting with the pope will be the first since his election although they have met several times before, including when he was vice-president to Barack Obama.

Pelosi is in Rome for a Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit ahead of the G20 as well a meeting of parliamentary leaders before of the U.N. Climate Change Summit (COP20) next month in Glasgow.

Francis told the parliamentarians separately on Saturday they had a decisive role to play in protecting the environment.

The Vatican announced on Friday that the pope would not be going to Glasgow but that its delegation would be headed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the secretary of state. read more

Reporting by Philip Pullella; modifying by Philippa Fletcher

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Pope Francis welcomes U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as they meet at the Vatican, October 9, 2021.  Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, October 9, 2021.  Vatican Media/­Handout via REUTERS

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