Pope and President

Friday, July 10, AD 2009


During the 30 minute meet and greet audience today at the Vatican, the Pope pressed Obama on abortion and embryonic stem cells.  The Pope gave Obama a copy of Dignitatis Personae, which I hope he will read.  He indicated that he would.

“Oh, what we discussed earlier,” said Obama, referring to their closed-door discussions. “I will have some reading to do on the plane.”

Here is the statement of the Vatican on the meeting, hattip to Catholic Key Blog.

“This afternoon, Friday 10 July 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in Audience the President of the United States of America, His Excellency Mr. Barack H. Obama. Prior to the Audience, the President met His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, and also His Excellency Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

In the course of their cordial exchanges the conversation turned first of all to questions which are in the interests of all and which constitute a great challenge for the future of every nation and for the true progress of peoples, such as the defence and promotion of life and the right to abide by one’s conscience.

Reference was also made to immigration with particular attention to the matter of reuniting families.

The meeting focused as well upon matters of international politics, especially in light of the outcome of the G8 Summit. The conversation also dealt with the peace process in the Middle East, on which there was general agreement, and with other regional situations. Certain current issues were then considered, such as dialogue between cultures and religions, the global economic crisis and its ethical implications, food security, development aid especially for Africa and Latin America, and the problem of drug trafficking. Finally, the importance of educating young people everywhere in the value of tolerance was highlighted.”

5 Responses to Pope and President

  • I pray that the President reads the document on bioethics and it plants a seed, not just to break his commitment to the pro-choice movement and false-scientific research. But — in his search for a church — that he may hear his call to the Church.

    I know cynicism, perhaps, even human experience tells us that it is improbable. But my own conversion itself was just that, a seemingly infinite impossibility. I pray the same for the President. I wish him the best.

  • I join you in that prayer Eric. Grace has fallen on more unlikely fields than President Obama.

  • I had dinner with a woman last night. Three years ago she was a radical feminist marxist. She told me she was living a lifestyle steeped in forms of depravity that we would not believe. She had previously worked in an abortion clinic and said she had a deep hatred for pro-lifers and the Church.

    On the verge of suicide, she turned to the Bible. Deciding that Evangelical Christianity was not for her, she asked a friend to tell her where she could go to Mass. Her conversion was swift and immediate. She entered the Church and has been a committed Catholic since. She was almost reluctant to discuss her conversion because she felt so unworthy of the grace and mercy she received after a life of sin.

    I tell this story because I often become cynical of the ability of prayer to lead to radical Paul-like conversion. Yet this woman told a story I had heard before–but only in the biographies of saints. Let us keep the president in prayer.

  • Perhaps prayers should also be said on behalf of those purportedly Catholic, as well, who in spite of being knowledgeable about such things still continue to choose to promote the prevalently pernicious Pro-choice platform or remain remarkably lukewarm to issues of life due to the typical “personally against it but do not want to impose personal beliefs on others” spiel.

  • e.

    pro-choice platform or remain remarkably lukewarm to issues of life due to the typical “personally against it but do not want to impose personal beliefs on others” spiel.

    I think that’s the definition of pro-choice. Really there is just pro-life and pro-abortion, the “pro-choice” moniker is intellectually dishonest as is any claim to being “personally opposed”.