President Obama gave House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rosary beads blessed by Pope Francis during lunch Tuesday at the White House, according to an NBC News reporter.
Pelosi says she received a rosary blessed by Pope Francis from Obama at lunch today
— Carrie Dann (@CarrieNBCNews) April 1, 2014
Obama met Pope Francis at the Vatican for the first time last week.
Pelosi, a Catholic, has been criticized for her support of abortion — a practice which she has called “sacred ground” — by other Catholics.
Last year, a Vatican official in Rome said that the California lawmaker should be denied communion.
“This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion,” Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke said in an interview with The Wanderer.
Pelosi met with Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, and according to a report in Politico at the time, the Pope spoke with her about the sanctity of life and blessed some rosaries for her grandchildren’s confirmation.
“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,” Politico quoted the papal press release.
During Obama’s visit with the Pope, they exchanged gifts, and according to the Vatican, discussed “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection.”