Did they? Didn't they?
Yesterday I picked up on reports that Pelosi had managed to fit in her promised meeting with Archbishop Niederauer on Feb. 8th.
Last night I found someone citing a Feb. 13th email from the Archbishop's spokesman saying the meeting had not taken place. Reliable enough it would seem, right?
Wrong - because this report was itself corrected today ... Pelosi and Niederauer did actually have the meeting:
Oooooohhhhhhh boy. Let's go through what's wrong with this picture:
“It went well,” [Pelosi spokesman] Daly said. “They both thought it was productive and agreed they would meet in the future at some point.” Daly said they did not set a date.
Daly said that the meeting did not sway Pelosi's stance on life issues. “She is not changing her position on abortion,” he said. Daly said Pelosi still goes to Mass and Communion every Sunday at San Francisco's St. Vincent de Paul parish or elsewhere when she is traveling. Why are we hearing of this meeting only ten days later? “It was a private meeting. They didn’t feel the need to publicize it and we didn’t feel the need to publicize it," Daly said.
It was so private that the archbishop's own press spokesman, Maurice Healy, seemed unaware of it. He told OSV on Friday that no meeting had taken place, despite the archbishop making himself readily available.
- Pelosi's office shouldn't be setting the tone. "They didn’t feel the need to publicize it and we didn’t feel the need to publicize it"?! That doesn't fly with me. Pelosi, after all, likes publicizing everything she does. Abp. Niederauer's invitation to meet with Pelosi was a public invitation, because of public comments she made, causing very public scandal. Was he hoping everyone would just forget? Well, I sure didn't. I know plenty of other Catholics are concerned as well.
- Abp. Niederauer's spokesman shouldn't be thrown for a loop by this. Let's face it: the ongoing scandal caused by Pelosi should be near the top of the Archdiocese's concern lists. Or it should at least be on the list. To have the spokesman so unaware of things as to publish a false-negative answer when queried about their meeting ... is simply unprofessional.
- Pelosi shouldn't be presenting herself for Communion after meeting with her Archbishop! I hate to be cynical, but if Pelosi is still presenting herself for Communion, if I were her Archbishop, I wouldn't want people to know that I had met with her privately. Here's why: I think it's completely reasonable to say that in their very first meeting the Archbishop was bound to plainly state to Pelosi that her voting record on abortion makes her ineligible to receive Communion, and that in submission to his rightful authority, she ought not to present herself for it, because doing so harms her at this point. That's the teaching of the Church, at least - a teaching the Archbishop is bound to present as her pastor. Pelosi can no longer dodge behind the excuse that she "doesn't know it's wrong".
- This can easily appear like Pelosi and Niederauer are in cahoots. I'm sorry, but to quietly "get this meeting over with", with no amendment of ways on Pelosi's part, and seemingly no effort to embrace the opportunity on the Archbishop's part, this has all the earmarks of "oh my, the little people are up in arms - here, let's go have dinner and talk about something important so they'll get off our backs." Now, I'm not saying this is what happened ... but it's not hard to read it that way, given Pelosi's long-standing obstinacy on this issue, and Abp. Niederauer's long-standing reticence to challenge her.
It's not a perfect world. In a perfect world, after Pope Benedict was put in the hot seat by having to meet with Pelosi, the Holy Father would have gone back to his desk, and picked up the phone:
Like I said, it's not a perfect world.
Abp. Niederauer: "Heeeeeeee-llo!"
Pope Benedict XVI: "George! I thought we talked about this! You said you were going to meet with Pelosi last week! What gives? Nothing's changed! She's just as clueless as ever!"
Abp. Niederauer: "Umm...."