Alexandra Pelosi, daughter of the new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been getting some major press (as well as celebrity endorsements) lately for her documentary, "A Friend of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi," which takes a look at Evangelicalism (although it sounds as though it focuses quite often on Fundamentalist groups and various televangelists). Pelosi's relationship with Catholicism, the religion of her youth, is rather conflicted. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Alexandra Pelosi doesn't like to say she's a "lapsed" Catholic. Because when she does, her mom, recently appointed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, tends to take it as a "failure that she couldn't keep me in the church." That position looks especially bad lately, after the elder Pelosi stressed her devout Catholicism during swearing-in ceremonies this month.
So despite 12 years of Catholic education in San Francisco and four more at a Jesuit university, Alexandra, a 36-year-old documentary filmmaker, prefers to say that Catholicism "didn't stick. I always try to tell my mother that I believe in God, but I don't believe in church. But that offends her. Parents take it personally when you reject something they gave you."
If Nancy Pelosi is a devout Catholic, then, well, I'm a devout left-handed, neo-Marxist, lesbian Buddhist who loves pro wrestling and walks on the beach. I only say that based on her abortion-loving public record. For all I know, she might privately be very devout, and only pursues public policies in direct violation of Church teaching just to show others how private her beliefs really are. Anyhow, the California Catholic Daily provides a further glimpse into the sixteen years Alexandra spent losing her faith while being educated in Catholic doctrine, practice, and culture:
“In my family, we have a hundred years of Catholic school experience, and none of us ever heard that homosexuality was a sin. At my school, the nuns taught us about evolution.” So Alexandra Pelosi, 36, told the Jan. 21 Washington Post. Pelosi is the fifth child of Nancy Pelosi, the pro-abortion San Francisco congresswoman recently elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. ...
Pelosi, a graduate of San Francisco’s upscale Convent of the Sacred Heart High School and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, said what she was taught in these Catholic schools differed dramatically from what she learned from the Evangelicals. “We were taught just to accept people, that was just a given,” she told the Jan. 17 San Francisco Chronicle. “I don't ever remember being told at Convent of the Sacred Heart that gay was wrong. They never even told us there was anything wrong with abortion. They were just choices. That’s why it was weird when I’d go to these [Evangelical] places and... people would say, ‘It’s in the Bible.’ And they fall back on the Bible for everything.”
And then, returning to her famous mother, the quote of the day:
Of Madam Speaker, who supports a woman’s “right to choose,” the younger Pelosi said, “My mother, throughout her entire life, has been faithful to the Church, even though the Church has not been that faithful to her because of her politics. And I think that takes a lot of perseverance. And still, people protest her right to go to her own church.”
Not only did Alexandra not learn what the Church teaches, she apparently didn't learn a bit of formal logic or common sense. I hate to break it to the Pelosis, since they seem quite comfortable in their alternative reality, but neither the world nor the Church revolves around them. But maybe Ma Pelosi could work with Congress to try to change that.
Mike Liccione of Sacramentum Vitae offers some good commentary:
Alexandra Pelosi affords the perfect living synecdoche of AmChurch. If you didn't grow up Catholic during the last half of the twentieth century, all you have to do to know the nature, and the fruits, of "progressive Catholicism" is listen to her and her story. Are you evangelized by such an example? Of course you're not. If you're impressed all the same, is that because you care passionately about the truth?
This is not a religion anybody would die for. It is a religion destined to die. Its dilution of truth in a soup of relativism and individualism proceeds apace by the generation.
Young Catholic blogger Natalie Aka Inksmudge, who is a Democrat, rightly asks, "Since when did following Church doctrine become choices and Nancy Pelosi a “faithful” Catholic???" And:
Those that happen to be Catholic Republicans will immediately jump on this story to showcase Pelosi, saying that one cannot be both Catholic and Democrat. I don’t believe so. Am I a Democrat? Yes, but I’m also a Catholic and not a Pelosi Catholic. I can’t even begin to describe the hostility I’m met with when I encounter other orthodox Catholics. With the exception of perhaps three people, every orthodox Catholic I’ve come across with is a Republican.
Yet the real story isn't "Dem. vs. Rep.", but that a person claiming to be a devout Catholic supports things that are completely contrary to consistent, clear Church teaching. This is a "Catholicism vs. My Personal Brand of Modified Catholicism" story, regardless of the political parties.