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Catholics send roses to Washington, hoping to change politician’s heart

Orações pela conversão da deputada pró-aborto Nancy Pelosi

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone | Twitter

John Burger - published on 12/16/21 - updated on 12/16/21

By the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 16,381 flowers pledged for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Thousands of roses are being delivered to the Washington, D.C., office of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, as part of a prayer campaign to help her change her mind about legal abortion.

The “Rose and Rosary for Nancy” campaign was initiated September 29 by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Pelosi, a Democrat, is a resident of San Francisco and a Catholic. She also holds strong positions in support of legal abortion. 

Following Archbishop Cordileone’s call, thousands of Catholics signed up at BenedictInstitute.org, pledging to pray at least one rosary a week for Pelosi and fast on Fridays for her conversion. The Archdiocese of San Francisco pledged to send one rose for each person who signed up.

The gesture is reminiscent of the early days of the March for Life, when pro-life activists were encouraged to send a rose to their members of Congress on the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v Wade decision that liberalized abortion laws nationwide. 

By the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, 16,381 Catholics have made this commitment. On that day, a large shipment of roses were sent to Pelosi’s office, and about 100 roses a day will continue to be sent. 

“That is a lot of roses,” Archbishop Cordileone tweeted. “Each one a soul praying and fasting fervently for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s conversion to respect for the equal dignity of every human life. Thanks to each one of the 16,381 people who joined this campaign.”

“The rose is also a symbol of our Blessed Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, the ‘mystical rose.’  At this particular moment in the history of our nation, we need more than ever the intercession of our Blessed Mother, St. Therese, and all other saints who have shown us the path to life,” Archbishop Cordileone said when he kicked off the campaign. He noted “how desperately our country, and many of our political leaders, need a conversion of heart to steer us away from the path to death and reclaim a culture of life.” 

Patroness of the Unborn

The first rose delivery took place, as the Archbishop had requested, on October 1, the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, who promised after her death to send believers a “shower of roses” as a sign of God’s love.

On December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of the unborn, who sent a shower of roses to San Juan Diego that converted Mexico and much of the Americas, along with the rose delivery, a small group gathered on Capitol Hill to pray a rosary. 

“We kept it small because we wanted this to be a prayer service, not a political rally,” a press release from the archdiocese said. “These roses are a rich and deep and visible symbol that Catholics cannot support massive taking of innocent human life, whatever the politics, the pols, and the polls may say.”

“The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn, is a fitting day to send a shower of roses to Speaker Pelosi,” Archbishop Cordileone commented. “Each one represents a Catholic praying and fasting for Nancy Pelosi’s conversion to the Gospel of Life. This is what equality means: Every human life is equally sacred. Speaker Pelosi, we love you. It is not too late: choose life.”

Consistent support of abortion

Pelosi, 81, has served as a U.S. representative from California since 1987. She currently represents California’s 12th congressional district, which comprises most of the city and county of San Francisco. She has had a consistent stance in favor of legal abortion, voting against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 and earlier attempts at similar bans. She has voted in favor of lifting the ban on privately funded abortions at overseas U.S. military facilities; in favor of an amendment that would repeal a provision forbidding servicewomen and dependents from getting an abortion in overseas military hospitals; and in favor of stripping the prohibition of funding for organizations working overseas that use their own funds to provide abortion services, or engage in advocacy related to abortion services. 

In 2008, she was rebuked by Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., for being “incorrect” in comments she made to Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press concerning Church teaching on the subjects of abortion and when a human life begins. The archbishop’s statement quoted Pelosi as saying the Church has not been able to define when life begins. During the interview she said, “over the history of the Church, [what constitutes the moment of conception] is an issue of controversy.”

In February 2009, Pelosi met with her bishop, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, and with Pope Benedict XVI regarding the controversy.

This year, after Pelosi cited her Catholic faith while defending efforts to permit federal funding of elective abortions, Archbishop Cordileone criticized her stance on the Hyde Amendment.

“Let me repeat: no one can claim to be a devout Catholic and condone the killing of innocent human life, let alone have the government pay for it,” he told Catholic News Agency.  

This September, after the Supreme Court refused to block a Texas law that forbids most abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, at around six weeks gestation, Pelosi said she would bring up the Women’s Health Protection Act “to enshrine into law reproductive health care for all women across America.”

Aleteia requested comment from Pelosi’s office about the delivery of roses. Maggie Gallagher, a spokeswoman at the Archdiocese of San Francisco, said that Pelosi has made no public acknowledgment of the deliveries. 

“The Archbishop has had conversations with her in the past and looks forward to more conversations in the future,” Gallagher said. “As a matter of pastoral respect, he doesn’t comment further on this question.”

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Abortion
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