After Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, was attacked in their home last October, Pelosi reportedly asked priests to come and perform an exorcism at her home, according to Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra. Paul Pelosi was attacked in the couple’s home by a 42-year-old man, David DePape. DePape allegedly broke into their home and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer, yelling, “Where is Nancy?” Police officers who had arrived on the scene after Pelosi called 911 tackled and disarmed DePape. Body-cam footage from responding officers has been released, apparently showing DePape and Pelosi struggling over the hammer, with DePape verbally refusing police orders to drop the hammer. Audio files after DePape’s arrest have DePape admitting he had intended to take Nancy Pelosi hostage and cause her bodily harm if she lied to him. DePape has currently pled not guilty to all charges filed against him.
In an opinion piece by Maureen Dowd, Dowd shared Alexandra’s words about what led to the exorcism. “I think [the attack] weighed really heavy on her soul,” she reportedly said. “I think she felt really guilty. I think that really broke her. Over Thanksgiving, she had priests coming, trying to have an exorcism of the house and having prayer services.” Alexandra stated she was surprised this was their first experience of such an attack. “It’s a miracle that this kind of thing never happened sooner. We were always worried. It’s like your worst fear coming to life.” It was not clear who performed the exorcism, as St. Vincent de Paul Church, Pelosi’s parish, stated none of its staff had been involved in an exorcism or prayer services at the home. “As far as I know, no exorcism or priest services were performed at her home,” said Fr. Arturo Albano to The Post. The United States Conference of Bishops defines exorcisms as a “form of prayer that the Church uses against the power of the devil” and “There are instances when a person needs to be protected against the power of the devil or to be withdrawn from his spiritual dominion. At such times, the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ for this protection or liberation through the use of exorcism.”
Pelosi’s relationship with the Catholic Church has been tenuous. Last May, the archbishop of San Francisco, Salvitore Cordileone, ordered priests in the diocese to deny communion to Pelosi due to her stance on abortion. “After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion,” Cordileone wrote in a tweet. He went on in a letter to say that the move was simply “application of Church teaching.” “One would have to demonstrate that a person’s actions in following Church teaching is explicitly for a political purpose in order to justify the accusation of ‘weaponizing’ the Eucharist,” he added. “I have been very clear all along, in both my words and my actions, that my motive is pastoral, not political.”