November 5, 2008

Obama and the Holy See

This will come as a shock to some Catholics, but the Vatican seems happy about Barack Obama's election as president of these United States. Last night Pope Benedict sent him a congratulatory telegram, and today's issue of the Vatican's newspaper has an exceedingly laudatory front page article. Pdf in Italian linked here.

7 comments:

a Visitation Sister said...

Thank you, dear brother, for your kind comment. Please be sure of our prayers for your good work! ... and feel free to encourage other parishoners. :)

Pia said...

I read this in Italian today and I was very happy about it. It gives me even more hope and it makes me proud of my country.

ben in denver said...

Contrary to Pia, I find it difficult to remain hopeful about our country at all at this time. In Colorado, we had a ballot initiative to constitutionally recognize the fundamental truth about the human beings that personhood begins at the moment of conception, and it failed by a 3-1 margin.

After 40 years of struggle, we have just elected the most pro-abortion president in history. We can look forward next year to federal legislation rolling back all of the piecemeal gains by the pro-life movement over these past 40 years. The Freedom of Choice Act will invalidate parental consent laws that exist in some states, and right-to-know laws in other states that provide ultrasounds to women considering abortion, it will also re-legalize partial-birth abortion.

I don't see how this could be a proud moment. I really do not believe that Mr. Obama is a good man. I will pray for him to have a conversion of heart and become a man of peace.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ben. The Holy See was following diplomatic custom in congratulating president elect Obama. I would not read into it any enthusiasm for the positions of the President elect, especially on issues of the protection of the unborn. Remember that it was the President-elect who used the term "punished with a baby" when supporting unfettered abortion rights during the campaign.

Brother Charles said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, anonymous (I presume that you're the same anonymous as the neighboring post.) Your point about the telegram is well-taken, and I share your lamentation over what the election means for life issues. However, this doesn't explain away L'Osservatore Romano comparing Mr. Obama's election to the falling of the Berlin Wall.

Pia said...

I've read the Osservatore Romano and the tone is very positive. I've spoken to many priests and religious here and they all say the same thing: "What a momentous election." And they actually congratulated and hugged me, as if I had something to do with it, by simply being American, whereas in the past 8 years, people would say "how on earth did the current president get elected. Especially the second time?"
This is not to say that they agree with his position on abortion, but they are very much interested in his position on the social justice and economic issues because these issues have a strong influence on the entire world.

There is time for Catholics and other pro life groups to let him know that the majority of americans are against abortion, and thus change may one day occur. It may take as long as it took for a black man to become president after the struggles for civil rights. Nothing comes easy, but there is hope. In the meantime, let's give the man a chance.

ben in denver said...

I must confess that I simply do not understand the enthusiasm of L'Osservatore Romano. Clearly George Bush was not a good president. Clearly he was involved in the violation of the human rights of "enemy-combatant" prisoners, and such thigs are morally reprehensible. But to compare his 8 years in the Whitehouse where perhaps 1 million died as a result of his foriegn adventures while an additional 10 million died at home from abortion to 70 years of atheistic communism that was responsible for the premature death of hundreds of millions of people as well as state sponsored persecution of the Church and the torture and imprisonment of scores of clergy and lay confessesors is such nonsensical hyperbole that it pushes one to incredulity.

I have to imagine that the only reason european clergy could be so excited about the election of Obama is a fundamental ignorance about abortion law in this country. Perhaps they do not know that the only chance to limit the evil of legal abortion is through the election of an executive committed to appointing pro-life supreme court justices.

Perhaps they overestimate the amount of democracy we actually have.