I’ve confirmed with Nancy Pelosi’s office that, at the Vatican’s request, no photos of Pelosi’s Wednesday yesterday with Pope Benedict XVI will be released.
So even if the pontiff had no choice but to meet with Pelosi, he wasn’t going to allow her to turn it into a press op.
In fact, as George Neumayr related in today’s Spectator, Benedict took the opportunity to chastise Pelosi and remind her that there is absolutely no place in the Catholic Church for a politician working hard to undermine core Church teachings. Of course, Pelosi released a report of her own, with a much more favorable interpretation of how the meeting unfolded. But a picture is worth a thousand words (or perhaps a million of Pelosi’s tortured emissions), and the spin isn’t going to work without a corroborating photo.
Perhaps someone in the Holy See warned the pope that Pelosi is not above playing cheap political games with her religion.
First was her abysmal foray into embryology during the Democratic National Convention, when, in a moment of acute imbecility, she cited St. Augustine in a justification for abortion premised on fetuses not being yet “ensouled.” This unprovoked misrepresentation of black-and-white Church doctrine elicited a slew of letters of censure from bishops around the country. Archbishop Niederauer of San Francisco, Pelosi’s district, publicly requested a meeting to review the Church’s stance on abortion. Pelosi publicly accepted, hoping to recoup her Catholic credentials.
Needless to say, that promise to meet with Niederauer was simply a ruse. Although she takes credit for making frequent trips back to her district, Pelosi managed to avoid Niederauer until last week. Even then she only met him in the most furtive way possible, keeping the press from covering what was surely an unflattering moment for her.
This whole episode, which unfolded while she was pulling all the political strings to shepherd the disastrous bailout and stimulus congress, underscores the reality that there is no one Pelosi will not exploit for political gain. Not her Catholic constituents, not her bishop, not the pope, not the unborn.
Luckily the pope picked up on this trait. As the head of the papal state, on some level he is obligated to meet with political leaders. Pelosi is, after all, third in line for the presidency. While honoring this duty, Benedict did not leave Pelosi any room for tricks. He gave her only a 15-minute audience after his daily general audience. Note that when he met with Gordon Brown of the UK today, their talk lasted over 30 minutes. The Vatican paper L’Osservatore Romano also carried a front-page article by the prime minister, an unprecedented gesture. All the major publications covering their meeting had pictures of them smiling, shaking hands, sitting together, etc. — the kind of pictures Pelosi surely had in mind when she trekked to Vatican City. Unfortunately, I don’t think she’ll ever learn her lesson.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://spectatorworld.com/.
That’s right, the Grinch (Joe Biden) is coming for your pocketbooks this Christmas season with record inflation. Just to recap, here is a list of items that have gone up during his reign.
What hasn’t increased? The cost to subscribe to The American Spectator! For a limited time, we are offering our popular yearly subscription for only $49.99. Lock in the lowest price of the year by subscribing today