Benedict XVI and Barack Obama

Together again, for the first time, on July 10:

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI will welcome U.S. President Barack Obama to the Vatican July 10 for an audience scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

Obama will visit Italy July 8-10 to participate in the Group of Eight summit, a meeting of leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations. The meeting will be held in L’Aquila, site of a devastating earthquake in April.

“Together again,” because the Vatican has been seen as far friendlier to Obama than the American bishops, and Catholic conservatives here. At America’s blog, Michael Sean Winters tweaks the outflanked right:


Admit it, wasn’t your first impulse to call Dr. Mary Ann Glendon and ask, “If you were still the ambassador, would you show up or would you boycott?” The Cardinal Newman Society, which spent the better part of the spring telling the world that no Catholic could in good conscience share the stage with President Obama, perhaps now they will start issuing press releases entitled “Pope Creates Scandal” or “Outrage at the Vatican.” The Catholic News Agency, which featured the headline “Vatican announces Pope’s vacation without confirmation of Obama visit” just a few weeks ago, has nary a mention of the visit on its website this morning. Cat got your tongue?


Obama’s Catholic critics need to re-calibrate their message and it is difficult to see how they will compete with the pictures of Obama in the frescoed halls of the Vatican, his beautiful wife and children in tow, shaking hands with the Holy Father. Actually, in addition to shaking hands, it is traditional that the Pope will present a gift to the President. Does that count as an “honor” of the kind forbidden by the bishops’ document “Catholics in Political Life”?


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posted June 24, 2009 at 10:10 am

I love it!! We are being parabled! What will the perfect people do now? I makes me want to attend a Latin Mass to honor our Pope’s preference.

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posted June 24, 2009 at 10:38 am

By extension, does this now mean that the U.S. bishops would boycott a visit from the pope? The ironies are too rich to keep track of.

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posted June 24, 2009 at 11:07 am

Tell me someone will be selling t-shirts of this event! I have a t-shirt of the Pope’s trip to NYC – of course the t-shirt is for my Build-a-Bear Triceratops (I love the poetry of the whole thing).

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posted June 24, 2009 at 11:56 am

The Holy Father will not be receiving the President in the Vatican (l’Aquila being a good way from there), and he has not invited the President to address the world from his bully pulpit either, unlike the President of Notre Dame. We have no idea what sort of things the Holy Father might say, whether on or off the record. Better hold off the crowing just yet. You might be unpleasantly surprised. Your hopes that Benedict XVI will congratulate Barack Obama on his pro-abortion votes, for example, are unlikely to be realized.

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posted June 24, 2009 at 6:35 pm

what do you say?? Of course Pope Benedict XVI will welcome U.S. President Barack Obama in the Vatican!

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posted June 24, 2009 at 7:53 pm

PB – don’t be absurd.
Picking nits such as “we have no idea what sort of things the Holy Father might say” is beyond ridiculous.
Pope Benedict is welcoming our President. It is the civil, diplomatic and correct thing to do.
Treating the President of the United States with respect – EVEN IF ONE DOES NOT AGREE WITH EVERYTHING HE SAYS – is what decent, mature, smart people do.
Pope Benedict does not have to hate or vilify our President in order to be in good standing with the Catechism or the Magesterium. That may be news to you, but it seems to me that it is GOOD NEWS!

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