Statement on Meet the Press Comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Bishop David A. Zubik
On Sunday, August 24, on “Meet the Press,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped
out of her political role and completely misrepresented the teaching of the
Catholic Church in regard to abortion. She said that Church teaching condemning
procured abortion is somehow new and therefore unsettled. She could not have
been more wrong.
Jesus proclaimed the sacredness of human life throughout his teaching and
ministry. In a Roman world where abortion was commonplace, the Church proclaimed
its intrinsic moral evil. The Didache, perhaps the earliest known Christian
manual of moral teaching dating from the first century, rejected abortion. Early
Church councils considered it one of the most serious crimes.
That teaching has remained constant and unaltered for two millennia.
As the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith re-stated in 1974, “The first
right of the human person is his life. … It does not belong to society, nor does
it belong to public authority in any form to recognize this right for some and
not others. … From the time the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is
neither that of the father nor of the mother; it is rather the life of a new
The teaching of the Church on abortion is settled. And as old as the Gospels.