Nancy Pelosi leaves Mass in Rome due to security concerns.
Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Oct 10, 2021 / 09:19 am (CNA).
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband left Mass at a church in Rome Saturday due to a “security incident,” the church’s rector said.
“You probably heard or saw the commotion. Unfortunately, I guess, there was a security incident and sadly Speaker Pelosi and her husband had to leave,” Paulist Fr. Steven Petroff, rector of St. Patrick’s Church in Rome, said in a video posted on social media.
“She was going to do our second reading today, but of course her safety is most important,” he said.
Veteran Rome journalist Joan Lewis told CNA Sunday that she had spoken to Petroff, who told her that the security concerns stemmed from restive demonstrations going on in the streets of Rome Saturday that were moving into the area where St. Patrick’s is located.
“It was Pelosi’s security detail that made her leave Mass for her own safety,” Lewis said in an instant message exchange with CNA. “What Fr. Steve learned after Mass was that a large number of the anti-Green Card protestors were moving in the direction of Via Veneto and they appeared to be violent. This is what led her security team to insist that she leave the church to, we can assume, be moved to a more secure location.”
Lewis emphasized that Pelosi wasn’t the target of heckling, as some news reports suggested.
The parish of St. Patrick’s serves Americans and English-speaking pilgrims in Rome.
Pelosi, a leading Catholic politician who has clashed with her local ordinary, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, over her support of abortion, traveled to Rome to give the keynote address at the opening session of the G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit on Friday. On Saturday, she and her husband, businessman Paul Pelosi, met with Pope Francis and other top Vatican officials.