Pontifications

Pontifications


Obama to give commencement address at Notre Dame

posted by David Gibson

This should get the Irish fighting, along with lots of other Catholics. Or am I wrong? Via The South Bend Tribune:

Obama will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at the university’s 164th commencement ceremony [on May 17], which will be in the Joyce Center, Notre Dame officials announced Friday.

Obama will be the ninth U.S. president to be awarded a Notre Dame honorary degree and the sixth to be the commencement speaker.

President George W. Bush spoke about faith-based and community initiatives when he was the commencement speaker in 2001. His father, President George H.W. Bush, gave the commencement address in 1992.

Hat tip to Amy Welborn (check out her Via Media blog at Beliefnet) who in her post opines thusly:

“I think it would be easier on everyone, frankly, if Catholic universities cut the cord with politicians completely. I don’t care how prestigious you aim to be, how much you want your graduates to contribute to the fabric of American civic life, even a sitting president cannot help but associate you with a political ideology.

I’m not arguing for the ghetto, at all, but we’re not talking noble statesmen here. We’re talking politicians who are divisive figures and who,  Obama’s case, are pursuing policies that directly threaten Catholic institutions.

(Bush is a worthy object of criticism, too, IMHO, but remember his speech was 2001 – before the Iraq war was pursued. And I don’t necessarily want to get mired in that conversation, but we might as well bring it up at the beginning.)”

Notre Dame certainly seems to be leading with its (her?) chin, but I think it’s a fine choice for many reasons: One, they invited Bush after he was elected, so the invite is justified if not imperative. And two, it offers Obama a Catholic setting to talk some about issues of central importance to Catholic, which have not received the hearing (so far) that he promised.



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Reaganite in NYC

posted March 21, 2009 at 12:00 am


This ranks up there with the Fordham Law School giving some award or whatever this past year to S.C. Justice Breyer.
“it offers Obama a Catholic setting to talk some about issues of central importance to Catholic (sic), which have not received the hearing (so far) that he promised.”
No! It only lends Catholic institutional credibility to this man and his policies — which are wrong for the America and, so far as they relate to beginning-of-life issues, are throughly at odds with Catholic moral teachings.
What are these idiots at Notre Dame thinking?



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Reaganite in NYC

posted March 21, 2009 at 12:25 am


By all means, orthodox Catholics should register their outrage at this decision by this South Bend, Indiana, school which takes the Blessed Virgin’s name.
The Cardinal Newman Society has set up http://www.NotreDameScandal.com which includes an online petition to Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins, CSC, and contact information for the university.
Please be certain to register your outrage at this decision by clicking on: http://www.NotreDameScandal.com



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Double Domer

posted March 21, 2009 at 1:38 am


I earned two degrees from ND and my dad sat on the board. This is disgusting! I will make sure nobody in my family gives another penny to that liberal thinktank that employs the likes of McBrien and Kmiec. After this, I would never send my children to ND. It is a secular educational institution. Benedict needs to ‘prune’ it (cut the cord).



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 21, 2009 at 3:35 am


Given our illustrious new leader’s comments on the Special Olympics and his vitriolic support of the abortion industry, which aborts over 90% of Down Syndrome babies, perhaps the folks at Notre Dame will rethink their invitation.
This was no “gaffe”, unless by “gaffe” we mean an unguarded moment that provides insight into the man. As the father of an autistic 9 year old son who has found himself in bowling this year, I am all the more outraged.
This heartless Ivy League educated fool will prove to be a stain on Notre Dame’s honor. They will cover themselves in glory by telling Obama to stay home. Get a Down Syndrome adult, give him/her an honorary BA and let the honoree speak the wisdom that only they possess: simple and profound.



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Bob

posted March 21, 2009 at 10:25 am


It’s been a long time since anyone could refer to Notre Dame as a Catholic college and keep a straight face while doing so.
This is par for the course for them.



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Mary

posted March 21, 2009 at 10:58 am


I thought Notre Dame was a football team?



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Florence

posted March 21, 2009 at 11:40 am


I was under the opinion this was Regis Philbin’s college. My opinion on all this that this college is using the New Age to teach and won’t listen to anyone. We do have too many liberals out there trying to wreck our religion. The devil is working hard. Say your Divine Mercy each day to win.



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Gerald Bigg

posted March 21, 2009 at 1:15 pm


What a huge mistake!!!!!



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Your Name

posted March 21, 2009 at 1:58 pm


They may as well have invited the devil to speak,,,oh wait,,,they have!



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dan

posted March 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm


Reaganite in NYC
March 21, 2009 12:00 AM
This ranks up there with the Fordham Law School giving some award or whatever this past year to S.C. Justice Breyer.
“it offers Obama a Catholic setting to talk some about issues of central importance to Catholic (sic), which have not received the hearing (so far) that he promised.”
No! It only lends Catholic institutional credibility to this man and his policies — which are wrong for the America and, so far as they relate to beginning-of-life issues, are throughly at odds with Catholic moral teachings.
What are these idiots at Notre Dame thinking?
What he said!
God bless,
Dan



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JO

posted March 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm


As the parents of seven ND graduates, we will not be attending this year’s graduation – at least the President Obama part. We sent our children here for a Catholic education at a Catholic University – we do not support her liberal policies nor will we donate.



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Reaganite in NYC

posted March 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm


JO (3:07 PM): “As the parents of seven ND graduates, we will not be attending this year’s graduation – at least the President Obama part. We sent our children here for a Catholic education at a Catholic University – we do not support her liberal policies nor will we donate.”
JO, thanks for sharing. This decision by ND must be particularly annoying and heartbreaking to you. For my immigrant grandparents, ND represented (along with Fordham, BC, Georgetown, Holy Cross, etc.) the height of success for faithful and successful Catholics. It was a school that they prayed their children and grandchildren might be capable of getting admitted to. Many of my relatives got into these schools.
Alas, the Catholic American experience has been one of balancing the imperative of fidelity with the desire to become successful in our culture. Unfortunately, ND and many other so-called “Catholic” schools have botched this task and demonstrated genuine infidelity. Given this, a Catholic parent is often smart to forego sending their kids to expensive “C.I.N.O.” colleges and using the money instead to send them to a state school.
The good news in Catholic higher education is the emergence of a number of smaller and/or newer schools that offer both a first-rate education and formation in the faith.
How does the discerning Catholic parent find these schools? The Cardinal Newman Society has recently put out a terrific guide to Catholic colleges that provides Catholic parents with guidance that are both faithful to Catholic teaching and academically challenging. The guide is developed in conjuction, I believe, with Fr. Benedict Groeschel and his Franciscan Friars for the Renewal. It is worth checking out.



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LOIS RUMELY

posted March 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm


MAYBE WE SHOULD CHANGE ITS NAME TO OBAMA UNIVERSITY. IT’S NOT OUR LADY’S SCHOOL ANYMORE.



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Your Name

posted March 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm


I think it is an honor to have the president speak at graduation, and I believe Obama has a great deal to offer this country and the world. The beginning of life issues are not the only issues that face us as Americans and as human beings, and it is a mistake to allow those issues – as important as they are – to dictate every single conversation.



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Reaganite in NYC

posted March 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm


Your Name: “… it is a mistake to allow those issues (beginning of life) – as important as they are – to dictate every single conversation.”
Sorry, but if you get “beginning of life” issues wrong … then it really doesn’t matter what comes next … because without life there is NO “next” because there is no life.
Life and family issues (including the defense of traditional family) are of absolutely prime importance. They are foundational. If you get these wrong, it really doesn’t matter what ex-post rationalizations you provide re: other issues.
It is precisely because the Church is so courageously counter-cultural on these vital matters that ALL CATHOLIC institutions must stand in solidarity. This South Bend, Indiana, college which takes the name of the Blessed Virgin must be faithful to the Church’s teachings and to the clear instructions of her shepherds that pro-abortion politicians should NOT be granted access to Catholic institutions (and be provided with the moral validation that such access grants).
Obama is not looking to have a “dialogue” here. He has already spoken loud and clear on the “beginning of life issues” with his morally and ethically bankrupt executive orders, budget proposals and appointments, including the appointment of that monster from Kansas, for example, to be Secretary of HHS.
He merely seeks the validation that would be provided by access to the ND campus (and the receipt of an honorary degree, if you can imagine it). He neither deserves nor merits that validation. ND must withdraw its invitation.
If ND does not withdraw its invitation, faithful Catholics from all over North America must protest loud and clear and boycott this “Catholic-in-name-only” institution as much as possible. I pray that the pro-life movement will be out in full force at the ND graduation if the Abortionist-in-Chief dares to show his face there. As our dear President likes to say, “enough is enough.”



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alice

posted March 21, 2009 at 7:40 pm


How happy I am that other real Catholics are outraged at Obama being invited to speak at Notre Dame. Surely there are many other
pro-life speakers, who are Catholic, who could inspire these graduating students to go out into the world armed with their Catholic faith. Please, I pray Notre Dame does not give this pro-abortion president a chance to think that the Catholic community welcomes whatever he has to say. His thinking is obviously anti-Catholic!



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Your Name

posted March 22, 2009 at 9:56 am


Notre Dame has lost the faith like many Catholic Universities in our America. As Catholics we are taught to love the sinner and pray for their conversion. By elevating Obama to speak to the graduates of Notre Dame we elevate and condone his principals and his stand against Catholic teachings. It is a slap in the face to Catholics who live and sacrifice for their faith to find the assault coming from within Catholic institutions that once inspired us.



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Your Name

posted March 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm


I don’t think allowing a politician of any stripe to receive an award or to give a speech which contradicts that institutions public philosophy is necessary. This would apply equally to schools which promote a religious or secular philosophy. It sends a confusing message to the public and allows the institution to be used for political purposes. The university should be available to all who promote a view or philosphy that can be supported by reason and persuasive deabte but not as a stage where they can work their media’magic’. jimls



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Cindy

posted March 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm


What an incredible gesture for the Administration at Notre Dame to make. Catholic christianity is actually not going to be totally framed by the warped politicization of the abortion issue.
Instead, this educational institution is going to stand firm in its Catholic conviction and maintain a loving, Christian dialogue with the world in which it is situated.
The internet is wonderful for many things. What I find abhorrent is that hate-filled, vicious, small-minded people can congregate much more easily and rile each other up.
Notre Dame is first of all Catholic – Universial, Christian, both. Secondly it is an educational institution – and so it teaches from it’s academics to it’s actions.
I don’t care out long, and how loud, and how often people like “Reaganite in NYC” and others say the same thing over and over about how their idea of Pro-Life is the ONLY way to be Pro-Life the Church in her wisdom will simply not turn her back on everyone else on the planet.
I can’t say it any louder than I have already – I am Pro-Life and I believe abortion is evil. I also believe that anything we can do to reduce even ONE ABORTION is in support of life. And if childcare on one military base, or health care in one inner city clinic and a grant for higher education puts a woman and/or a family in a situation where they can choose to bring that child to life then we MUST see that as a success.
To turn our backs on the dialogue, the hard work, the sacrifices that must be made and the many, many paths to ridding the world of abortion is to succumb to the perfidy of a political agenda that has NO PLACE in The Catholic Church.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 22, 2009 at 8:43 pm


Cindy,
Suppose that Pope Pius XII had Mussolini or Hitler over to his place for weekly tea during the war, with no change in their behavior? Suppose Pope Pius bestowed great honor on these two leaders by making them Knights of Malta, or members of some other similar order? Would we be remembering Pius today for his splendid example of trying to maintain dialogue with the world’s worst monsters? Would we not be right to look upon him with scorn and derision?
Barak Obama has bested the most virulent of the abortion apologists by opposing even the right of a baby born alive during a botched abortion to be saved. He has promised to nominate pro-choice Judges and Justices. He is a savage man, heartless and cruel. Yes, I judge a man by how he uses his power and authority to protect the weakest and most vulnerable. By any measure, Barak Obama is severely lacking as a human being.
Does he deserve an honorary Doctorate from one of our most prestigious Catholic Universities? One that bears the name of Mary, the very moral antithesis of this man? Do you not see that this gives his monstrous agenda the imprimatur of the Church? The pro-choice crowd has been crowing since November of the support Catholics have given this man. So you think it’s splendid to heap more upon him.
Obama has no problem with the 50+ million babies butchered thus far. He refuses to spare even those born alive. The honors of Roman Catholicism should be given to those who MERIT those honors. Honorary doctorates are given in recognition of accomplishments. Apart from getting elected, Obama has no legislative accomplishments upon which to stand. His reversals of all pro-life Executive Orders regarding abortion and embryonic stem cell research constitute a record as President that stands him in opposition to what we hold most sacred as Catholics: The value of a single human life.
If Barak Obama wants to earn our recognition, he should at a minimum do the following:
FIRST: he dialogues with our Bishops. SECOND: he nominates and supports a pro-life Supreme Court candidate. THIRD: he supports legislation to protect babies born alive during abortions.
Other than that, we are doing what Jesus told us not to do: throwing our pearls before swine.



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pagansister

posted March 22, 2009 at 9:01 pm


Why not?



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Cindy

posted March 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm


Gerard,
So, let me get this straight: you are equating The Pope with The University of Notre Dame (an American College) and a US President with two of the “Axis” leaders of WWII. Okay, I just want to make sure we’re all talking about the same thing here. Then you leap to a “weekly tea” scenario where the Pope and Mussolini or Hitler chit chat and the Pope gives them great honors. You really want me to take you seriously?
I refuse to play the Obama-is-Hitler game.
If so, then I say this: How do you expect the heart of anyone to change without dialogue? Do you suppose Obama or one of his assistants is going to read the blogs on the Internet and get his marching orders from anonymous haters? And that somehow THAT will change his heart about life issues?
Gerard, you do have the Republican talking points down pat. But they are not the same thing as Catholic directives as to how we deal with people in the world, and make our Christian way in a secular society. This is exactly what I meant by the perfidy of political thought masquerading as Catholic Tradition or doctrine.
I personally have no idea as to the deserving of an honorary degree. Any one that I have is one I earned. However I do understand the reaching out of one’s hands. I read and hear of Jesus sitting at the table over and over with prostitutes and tax collectors. He did more than reach out his hand – he made them his disciples. He made them leaders and founders of the very church we are discussing.
This is election hyperbole followed by your own dissatisfaction with the actions of a University Administration. Stop with the faux outrage – it is a strawman argument. The ridiculousness of your argument is betrayed by your continued use of that “infanticide” accusation that has been debunked and dealt with for months. Nearly a year. So just quit it. It’s a lie and its not helpful and it’s not Pro-Life.
The crux of your argument, that you will continue to repeat it over and over and use it to back up whatever opinions and strawman arguments you create, is that our President is a Democrat and thus won with a Pro-Choice platform. That is a terrible disappointment to many – that we did not elect a Pro-Life President. He ran on the Democratic Platform, and won. It was a legal and fair election and the Republicans lost. We may or may not like that. But it is a done deal. To take the result and turn into some kind of Catholic diatribe is absurd.
Yes, his Mexico City policy is abhorrent to us. You don’t need to go the extra ten thousand miles of vitriol.
You came up with one idea of how you would like to see Barack Obama reach out to Catholics. It seems that the Administration of Notre Dame had another idea. I’m sure many people have even more ideas.
Here’s my suggestion – work a little harder to detach your Republican political dogma from your Catholic Christianity. Recognize that they are separate, even when the issues seem to be in agreement.
I won’t dignify the swine comment either.
Barack Obama is the President of the United States. Not swine. And just so you know, I do not support the use of “Benny” to refer to The Pope and I believe that respect for the offices of legal governments is exactly what Jesus told us to do. We live in this country. Yes, we can work hard as possible to change the laws and address the inequities. We mourn the abortions and pray for a conversion of hearts.
But mostly what we are called to do is live our own, personal Christian life as Jesus did – with his humility, his love FOR EVERYONE, and his dependence on The Father. Your constant political stuff is great for the political boards – fine. Just stop trying to dress it up as Catholic. It’s not.



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Gerard Nadal

posted March 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm


Cindy,
You need to lay off that third cup of coffee at lunch.
Republican politics has nothing to do with my Catholicism. Frankly, the Republicans are only marginally better than Democrats on life issues, and use the pro-life movement as their useful idiots.
You’re right about the Hitler analogy. Hitler killed six million Jews. We’ve aborted over fifty million Americans. Obama, the de facto leader of the pro-choice movement is far worse. He has pledged the full weight of his office in the continued slaughter of innocents.
Your sense of Christian charity is as noble as it is misguided. I was quite clear in my post. I welcome his dialogue with our Bishops FIRST. We do not hand out an honorary doctorate as an inducement to dialogue. You have it backward. I was awarded my Ph.D. for my discovery after ten years of work at pursuing the unknown. Doctorates are for what people have done, not what we hope they might do.
You don’t need to dignify the swine comment. It isn’t mine. It’s Jesus’ instruction to us. Yes, a man who stands in opposition to a bill aimed at saving babies of botched abortions is worse than swine. But I stand by my statements. Our Catholic honors are for those whose life’s work fall in line with our Catholic values.
From your near-hysteria, I’d say that you are more than a mild apologist for this President. And don’t ever presume that you know my motives or my spirituality. That you are so far off the mark, as well as out of the bounds of propriety in responding to a fellow blogger and Catholic says much about what is lacking in you. The next time you light after someone on these threads as you have me, you might want to practice some of that charity and reaching out that seem so effortless to you, at least in theory. The screech owl thing is boring.



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Cindy

posted March 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm


Yes Gerard. You have far more experience with how PhDs are passed out.
And you’re right about my not knowing your motives or your spirituality -which is why I responded to your written comments to me.
Yes, Christian Charity is what’s needed in my life. Towards you and others.



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A Disappointed Convert

posted March 23, 2009 at 5:33 pm


The bottom line is, if you want to be on the Catholic team, you need to play by Catholic rules. No different than if you worked for, say, ABC Construction. You play by their rules, not the rules of XYZ Construction.
And the Catholic “rules” – Doctrine- leave no wiggle room.
When Catholic leadership tells their flock to “vote for whomever you wish,” it is a clear and blatant distancing from their very own Church doctrine. The problem is that many Catholics – to include some leaders – are unfamiliar with their very own doctrine and are, therefore, incapable to preach/enforce it.
The Catechism of the Catholic is very clear on the church’s stance when voting between a pro-life candidate and others who are not pro-life.
Sacred Scripture – the Word of God – is as well.
Jesus never put the economy ahead of LIFE. He died so we could LIVE. But, we can walk around Bible-illiterate the rest of our lives and claim ignorance and continue to blame George Bush for everything that goes wrong (another distancing from Scripture)and place what is or isn’t in our wallets ahead of moral decisions that protect the sanctity of innocent and defenseless Human Life.
I pray for the President to have a conversion so that I can’t wait to vote for him on November 6, 2012.
Until then, I shall – in the name of Jesus – rebuke his enabling of killing innocent babies.
Cindy, this has nothing to do with Democrat or Republican, but everything to do with Catholic doctrine and the Catholic leaders that do not follow it.
A practicing Christian is one who proclaims a personal relationship with Jesus Christ (hence the word “Christian”). Jesus and His Father created babies (Psalm 139:13). My guess is that they don’t condone somebody else killing their creation. Or maybe you think the Bible is just a bunch of stories.
Catholics are mandated by Holy Scripture and their Doctrine (CCC, 2270-2275) to protect the Sanctity of Human Life. If you don’t want to be Catholic, that’s okay. But you can’t be half-pregnant.
Aren’t you glad your Mother chose Life?



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Cindy

posted March 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm


Dear Disappointed Convert – and whoever else feels that you must convert me to a Pro-Life Catholic Point of View.
Thank you. You must be misreading my posts, though. Because I am very much a Catholic in good standing. I am very much a Pro-Life Catholic who embraces the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Please, if you must be condescending, patronizing and angry at me for something, go ahead. But do so knowing that you are choosing the wrong person to attack, and such practices will get you nowhere closer to an abortion-free world. Recognize that I am YOU. We are on the same side. I am in the pew next to you. I am on your team. I am Catholic.
Please do not assume that because I refuse to hate the President that I am somehow at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church. I am not.



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A Disappointed Convert

posted March 23, 2009 at 6:17 pm


Not the case, Cindy. I, like you, refuse to hate the President as well. As my post says, I am praying for him – as a professed Christian- to have a conversion into the light of Christ and His teachings that are laid out in His word.
I hate no one, certainly not you, as I have never met you.
But GOD DOES HATE, according to His very word. Proverbs 6:17 says, “There are six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to him; Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that plots wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil. The false witness who utters lies, and he who sows discord among brothers.”
And those who favor abortion are in the category of hands shedding innocent blood. I guess I’d count a defenseless baby of possessing innocent blood. How could one not?
There is no dissertation required about what God hates. He has told us.
Now, if I’m not getting something, I hope somebody fills in the blanks for me. maybe God will listen in and take notes.



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Cindy

posted March 23, 2009 at 9:27 pm


Indeed, how could one not?
I have no argument with your quotation of proverbs.
I do not believe we have any disagreement on these things that are Church Doctrine, dogma and Tradition.
So, I am baffled at the sentence about your “not getting something” -as I have not accused you thusly.



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A Disappointed Convert

posted March 23, 2009 at 10:08 pm


So, I am baffled at the sentence about your “not getting something” -as I have not accused you thusly.
———————–
Cindy,
I’m glad you didn’t get it – it’s not for you. Please allow me to clarify that the beginning of my post was to answer your last. Once I did that, the remainder of my message was an open forum. I apologize for a poor segue.
Peace…



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Your Name

posted May 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm


I am glad to see the dialogue on this issue. I have not seen many of those outraged go beyond saying “it is not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church”. Disappointed Convert, your scriptural reference is a powerful one. Please clarify for me further….there are seven things that God hates, but only one of them is so fundamental to our Catholic Doctrine as to cause this kind of outrage? I hope not. If the other six are important to us, for whom could we ever vote and not feel that we had compromised the Church? Certainly no U.S. President in my lifetime (dating back to John Kennedy) could meet those standards.



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