Catalyst June Issue 2011, Front Page
On May 11, Rep. Nancy Pelosi indicated she may vote against the nomination of the new House Chaplain. We immediately criticized her reasoning. On May 12, she said she had changed her mind. Here’s what happened.
When Rev. Patrick Conroy was selected by House Speaker John Boehner to be the new House Chaplain, the Jesuit priest won the plaudits of many Catholics, including Rep. Pelosi. But then Pelosi said she was having second thoughts, citing Conroy’s association with the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. Her objection? Claims of sexual abuse had been made against these Jesuits.
Importantly, there were no accusations made against Father Conroy. Moreover, all of the claims extended back decades. Most significantly, Father Conroy’s only involvement in this issue was heroic: he was a whistleblower who reported at least one case of an abusive priest.
We not only criticized Pelosi for the obvious—her embrace of the principle of “guilt by association”—we nailed her for her hypocrisy. When the San Francisco Board of Supervisors viciously condemned the Vatican for its position on gay adoptions, Pelosi was silent.
We also pointed out that Pelosi has never once criticized homosexuals in her district who go naked in the streets, sell Catholic symbols as sex toys, mock Jesus, ridicule nuns and disrespect the Eucharist. So for “Pelosi the Puritan” to now present herself, we said, was a little too late.
We are delighted that we played a role in getting Pelosi to pivot.