In a statement, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco joined the list of bishops who have responded to Pelosi's misrepresentation of Church teaching, which she expressed during an interview Aug. 24 on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press."
Catholic San Francisco, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, published Archbishop Niederauer's text.Pelosi, when asked to comment on when life begins, said that as a Catholic, she had studied the issue for "a long time" and that "the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition."
Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop William Lori, chairman of the Committee on Doctrine, responded the next day stating that her answer "misrepresented the history and nature of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church against abortion."
The prelates noted that since the first century the Church has "affirmed the moral evil of every abortion." A series of statements were released by other bishops across the United States, including Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., Archbishop Charles Chaput and Auxiliary Bishop James Conley of Denver, Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of New York, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota.