Denver Catholic Bishop Samuel Aquila is praising Salvatore Cordileone, a Catholic bishop in California, who announced yesterday that he would not give communion to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) due to her support of abortion rights.

“I support and commend my brother bishop for making this courageous, compassionate, and necessary decision,” wrote Archbishop Samuel Aquila in a statement Friday. “I know Archbishop Cordileone to be a shepherd with the heart and mind of Christ, who truly desires to lead others towards Christ’s love, mercy, and promise of eternal salvation.”


“He has made every attempt to try and avoid this step,” Aquila added.

Aquila was among nine bishops around the country who expressed support for Cordileone’s decision, according to media reports.

In a letter to Pelosi released Friday afternoon, Corileone wrote to the Speaker that “should you not publically repudiate your advocacy for abortion ‘rights’ or else refrain from referring to your Catholic faith in public and receiving Holy Communion, I would have no choice but to make a declaration, in keeping with canon 915, that you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

“As you have not publically repudiated your position on abortion, and continue to refer to your Catholic faith in justifying your position and to receive Holy Communion, that time has now come,” he continued. “Therefore, in light of my responsibility as the Archbishop of San Francisco to be ‘concerned for all the Christian faithful entrusted to [my] care’ (Code of Canon Law, can. 383, §1), by means of this communication I am hereby notifying you that you are not to present yourself for Holy Communion and, should you do so, you are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, until such time as you publically repudiate your advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.”

Aquila has said expressed support for denying Communion to public officials if they are pro-choice or for other reasons. The conservative leader has spoken out against LGBTQ people, euthanasia, and the death penalty. He’s said that people who are pro-choice have “dead consciences.”