The Vatican Press Office released a note this morning detailing part of the conversation which Pope Benedict XVI had with Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The Vatican note reads: "His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development."
Vatican correspondent John Allen, who writes for the National Catholic Reporter, noted that "routine Vatican declarations after diplomatic meetings also generally sum up the range of issues discussed rather than concentrating on a particular point. In that sense, the statement can only be read as a rejection of Pelosi's statements last summer, and, in general, of her argument that it's acceptable for Catholics in public life to take a pro-choice position."
Allen also noted that "by issuing an unusual public statement after the session with Pelosi -- which insisted that all Catholics, including legislators, are obliged to work for the defense of human life from conception to natural death -- the pope also made clear there will no let-up in the pressure on pro-choice Catholic politicians to change their ways."
Many pro-life organizations from the US and Canada expressed their serious concerns to the Holy See that Mrs. Pelosi was going to be received by the Holy Father. Some of these organizations sent to different Vatican authorities comprehensive memoranda in which they showed in a detailed and precise way the anti-life statements and the pro-death voting record of Mrs. Pelosi.
Catholic sources in Rome, who asked to remain anonymous, said they were "very much encouraged by this statement," saying that it shows that the "Holy Father is ready to stand up with courage to politicians that claim they are Catholics but their voting record denies those hypocritical assertions."