The Catholic bishops of America chose their new leader of their pro-life committee on Wednesday, and not only was he the first U.S. bishop to publish a catechetical letter discouraging gender “transitioning” and using gendered pronouns that had nothing to do with biological sex, he also issued a ban on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi receiving Communion in his Arlington, Virginia, diocese.
Bishop Michael Burbidge was elected the leader of the pro-life committee 174-63 over Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri.
Burbidge wrote last May that the Communion ban on Pelosi issued by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone in Pelosi’s home of San Francisco was his guidance, asserting, “He is her bishop and as that bishop the direction and guidance he provides is not limited to just a geographical area.”
Cordileone had written on May 2022, “After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance.”
After Cordileone issued his ban on Pelosi receiving Communion, she defied it, receiving Communion at Holy Trinity in Georgetown.
Last October, Burbidge condemned President Joe Biden’s stated desire to codify a national right to abortion. “The role of Congress is to pass laws that serve the common good — and yet this priority of the president only brings about pain and death,” he declared.
“Bishop Burbidge has been outspoken in his commitment to making pro-life issues a centerpiece of the activities in the Arlington Diocese and the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Olivia Gans Turner, president of Virginia Society for Human Life, told the Catholic News Agency (CNA).
“It has been exciting to see him expand pro-life efforts in Northern Virginia. Pro-lifers of every faith and no faith congratulate him,” she continued. “The USCCB has made a good selection for this important position.”
“A joyful and energetic leader for life,” Jeff Caruso, executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, told CAN. “His dedication to evangelizing the dignity of every life and working for the protection and care of unborn children, their mothers, and their families resonates with clarity and conviction in the Diocese of Arlington, in Virginia, and well beyond. I was excited to learn that he has been elected to chair the USCCB’s pro-life committee.”