“The archbishop in San Francisco has not been relevant in civil life in years. He’s made a choice — that he wants to be in opposition to the civic and government life in San Francisco rather than find laces of agreement. As somebody who’s a lapsed Catholic, who went to Catholic school, I found it disappointing that the archbishop hasn’t found a way to work with the city on things that they can work on together.”
Like much of the West Coast, San Francisco has roots in the Catholic Church and Spanish missions, Ross said, noting that the city has large communities of Irish, Italian and Latino families, as well as what was once a large and influential parochial school system.
Oil magnate Gordon Getty, Gov. Jerry Brown and William Newsom, the late father of the current governor, attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory; Gov. Gavin Newsom attended Notre Dame Des Victoires for a few years.
Ross noted that a common inquiry among native San Franciscans is, “Where did you go to school?”
“What they’re asking is not where you went to college,” he said. “They’re asking which parochial high school did you go to?”
Outside San Francisco, the fight over whether politicians who support abortion rights should get Communion goes back many years and has ebbed and flowed.
Father Thomas Rausch, professor emeritus of Catholic theology and theological studies at Loyola Marymount University, noted that although Cordileone’s move applies only to the Archdiocese of San Francisco — Pelosi would be able to receive Communion in other dioceses — “his actions reflect the division in the American Catholic hierarchy.”
“We have some bishops who insist on making abortion the preeminent moral issue faced by the church, and we have others who are personally against abortion but do not want to politicize the Eucharist,” Rausch said.
In the Vatican, however, church officials do not appear inclined to support Cordileone’s approach, Rausch said.
“I don’t want to question the archbishop’s right to teach on faith and morals,” he said. “But the question is, how does one resolve a highly controversial question like this when there’s a difference between one’s personal position and what is the law of the land?”