One has to wonder, why make it so.....clandestine?
I have my own theory:
Nancy Pelosi looks for access to general audience on an upcoming visit (for a good photo-op) and is told she cannot meet with the Pope until she meets with her bishop, as she promised in August.
Pelosi meets Abp Niederauer at a third-party residence, privately, as reported on February 8th, without the knowledge of Niederauer's spokesman (he can't lie about that which he has no knowledge). While Pelosi wants it private, so does Niederauer because the Pope very much wants an opportunity to visit with her. Hence, the public is not to be denied knowledge of this meeting indefinitely, but only until the meeting with the Pope has taken place.
Vatican delays announcement of Archbishop Dolan to the Big Apple's throne because it wants to be absolutely certain that news of the Pope Benedict -Nancy Pelosi meeting is thoroughly circulated (look for that announcement Thursday morning or Friday - the latter of which would be better as it will not take attention off printed headlines of the meeting in the AM).
Pelosi gets the desired meeting with the Holy Father, not just a general audience, but a private meeting. There's only one problem.....the press and the photographers are locked out and only her, her husband and entourage are allowed in the private meeting. It lasts 15 mintes and promptly afterwards, probably unbeknownst to the Speaker given her own spin, the Vatican makes it clear she went through the "Pope Benedict XVI school of living Catholic in the public square".
Some noted on Feb 13th that no date had been set for a meeting with the Archbishop. Yet, this conflicted with reports that a meeting took place on Feb 8th. The conflict was noted on Catholic and political blogs, well. However, if the spokesman was unaware that a meeting had taken place already, then it could be that no one lied. Rather, they were uninformed.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Going down the same path, as did Michael Voris in his video commentary, Fr. Z states (note he is saying "if" the meeting took place).
It will be interesting to see what happens when Abp Niederauer comes back from retreat. Will he offer a public response now that the meeting is over with Pope Benedict XVI? Perhaps nothing will happen until there is another public manifestation of her obstinant refusal to live Catholic. For Pelosi, that ought not take long given her track record. If Abp Niederauer goes to Canon 915 there ought not be any doubt in anyone's mind: Ms. Pelosi has been duly educated by the Pope himself. I'll be watching the Archdiocese of San Francisco website for any statement out of Abp Niederauer.
If the Archbishop and the Speaker did in fact have a meeting, and if after this meeting and then the meeting with the Holy Father she does not change her position and actions concerning these life issues, I cannot see any way around the necessity for bishops, according to c. 915, to deny Speaker Pelosi reception of Holy Communion.
MORE: Canonist Ed Peters previously posted on Canon's 915 and 916 back in 2007:
- Archbishop Raymond Burke on Canon 915 (note that Burke is now head of the Aposotlic Signatura, the highest court in the Church)
- A primer for those who prefer knowing to opining
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