EXCLUSIVE — Archbishop Wilton Gregory of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., has refused to comment publicly on whether he supports the barring of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from receiving Holy Communion in light of her stance on abortion, with his office saying in a blunt and mistakenly sent email to the Washington Examiner that requests “will be ignored.”

A number of bishops have come together in support of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s announcement issued Friday that because of Pelosi’s stance on abortion and her recent calls to protect access to abortion at the federal level, she should not present herself to a priest for Communion at Mass.

When the Washington Examiner reached out to the Archdiocese of Washington to seek comment, Gregory’s communications office inadvertently sent an emailed response.

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Washington, D.C. Archbishop Wilton Cardinal Gregory's communications office replied to the Washington Examiner's request for comment on Monday, May 23, 2022, noting that it would "be ignored." (Credit: the Washington Examiner)

“Just sharing for you to know what comes in,” the email stated. “Email since Saturday, when I last checked the comms inbox has just been a couple of random people wanting to tell the Cardinal to bring down the hammer on Pelosi. Aside from Jack Jenkins at RNS, this is the only new media inquiry. It will be ignored, too.”

The Washington Examiner reached back out to the Archdiocese of Washington asking for clarification.


Following email exchanges that seemingly attempted to delay publication while asking for a phone conversation, spokeswoman Patricia Zapor told the Washington Examiner via a phone call that there would be no direct response from the Archdiocese of Washington or Gregory. She sent a follow-up email, pointing to prior comments regarding his position on politicians receiving Communion.

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Archbishop of Washington, D.C. Wilton Cardinal Gregory's communications office responded to the Washington Examiner's email asking for clarification after sending an inadvertent email suggesting requests for comment "will be ignored." (Credit the Washington Examiner)

“I apologize for the mistaken email. We have not been responding to inquiries on this topic because Cardinal Gregory's position has not changed from what he has said in the past,” the follow-up email stated. “Cardinal Gregory has no new comment about the issue of Catholic politicians receiving Communion. The actions of Archbishop Cordileone are his decision to make in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Cardinal Gregory has not instructed the priests of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to refuse Communion to anyone.”

In a September 2021 interview with Crux, Gregory said it was not the role of bishops to serve as "police."

Bishops from California, Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin have joined Cordileone in support of the ban.


Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Colorado called Cordileone’s decision “courageous, compassionate, and necessary,” while others have expressed their support, saying the ban should follow Pelosi regardless of which parish she attends.