On September 15, 2021, Francis was asked about the issue of bishops denying pro-abortion politicians the right to participate in Communion and said he had never refused the Eucharist to anyone.
"They must be a shepherd with God's style. And God's style is closeness, compassion and tenderness.
"If we look at the history of the church, we will see that every time the bishops have not managed a problem as pastors, they have taken a political stance on a political problem."
While Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church's position that "abortion is homicide" he went on to say: "No, I have never denied the Eucharist to anyone, to anyone.
"I don't know if someone came to me under these conditions, but I have never refused them the Eucharist, since the time I was a priest."
The pontiff also said at the time that "Communion is not a prize for the perfect" but was "a gift, the presence of Jesus in his church and in the community. That is the theology."
Francis last year advised the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops not to adopt a policy that would potentially have seen Biden, who is also a Catholic, barred from receiving Communion. In November, the bishops approved a new document that fell short of denying the Eucharist to pro-abortion politicians.
Archbishop Cordileone stressed that his decision to deny Pelosi Communion was not political.
"Speaker Pelosi remains our sister in Christ. Her advocacy for the care of the poor and vulnerable elicits my admiration. I assure you that my action here is purely pastoral, not political," Cordileone wrote in an open letter to the Catholic faithful.
Pelosi has described herself as a devout Catholic and has been open about her personal faith but she has also strongly defended abortion rights and condemned a draft Supreme Court majority opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade.
"The Republican-appointed justices' reported votes to overturn Roe v Wade would go down as an abomination, one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history," Pelosi said on May 3, a day after the leaked draft was published.
She has also pledged to codify abortion rights into federal law but legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would have done so failed in the Senate last week.