Pontifications

Pontifications


Osservatore editor stands by Obama comments

posted by David Gibson

Gian Maria Vian.jpgThe editor of the Vatican daily has taken a lot of heat for his coverage of Barack Obama and his comments that Obama is “not a pro-abortion president.”

In a lengthy Q-and-A with Delia Gallagher (a veteran Vatican hand, formerly at CNN) and posted at National Review, Vian stands by his statements, but adds sfumature, as the Italians say, I believe. Shadings, in other words:

DELIA GALLAGHER: You were quoted as saying, “It is my clear conviction: Obama is not a pro-abortion president.” On what basis do you hold this conviction?

GIAN MARIA VIAN: I made that statement in an interview to an Italian journalist of Il Riformista who called me on the day the president was at Notre Dame for the controversial ceremony of the conferring of the law degree honoris causa. I was in Barcelona; I gave the interview over the phone and based my observation primarily on the speech President Obama gave on that occasion — a speech which demonstrated openness. In this sense, I said that he didn’t seem a pro-abortion president.

GALLAGHER: What do you mean?

VIAN: He considered abortion, at least in his speech at Notre Dame, as something to prevent and, above all, he said, we must proceed in the attempt to widen the consensus as much as possible because he realizes that it is a very delicate issue.

Of course, Senator Obama made decisions that certainly cannot be defined as pro-life, to use the American term. He was, rather, pro-choice. Yet I believe that the senator’s activity prior to his presidential election is one thing, and the political line he is following as president of the United States is another.

We have noticed that his entire program prior to his election was more radical than it is revealing itself to be now that he is president. So this is what I meant when I said he didn’t sound like a pro-abortion president. Besides, he stated that the Freedom of Choice Act is no longer a top priority of the administration.

Naturally, it is also a sort of wishful thinking. Let’s hope that my conviction is confirmed by the political actions of the administration. This is basically the same attitude of watching, waiting, and hope of the Catholic bishops of the United States.

GALLAGHER: Did you hear from the pope or the secretary of state about your comment that Obama is not a pro-abortion president?

VIAN: No. It was an interview on the fly. As usual, I didn’t ask permission from either the secretariat of state or the pope. It was an impression that I communicated based on the speech he had just given. President Obama said we should try to confront this question without too much division, that it is a tragedy, a frightening drama, let’s look for common ground — I think his words should be appreciated.

Long and fascinating piece. Read it all here.

Finally, as to how much weight to give Vian’s words? As Delia writes, he’s “not coming out of left field”:

Gian Maria Vian is firmly ensconced in the Vatican inner circle: He was personally tapped by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, and the pope’s trusted right-hand man, for the job as editor-in-chief. He has known and worked with Bertone for 25 years. His family have been close collaborators with popes for over a century: Pope Benedict XVI called the Vian family “illustrious . . . with a great tradition of faithful service to the Holy See.”

Vian’s grandfather, Agostino, wrote for L’Osservatore Romano and was married in 1903 by Pius X, then patriarch of Venice. His father, Nello, also a contributor to the paper, was chief Vatican librarian and close friend of Paul VI; Gian Maria was baptized by Paul VI in St. Peter’s Basilica.

H/T: Catholic World News



Advertisement
Comments read comments(4)
post a comment
rick

posted June 18, 2009 at 9:01 am


The fact is by expanding his financing of abortion world wide obama has shown he’s no friend of the church or to God’s children for that matter.
Saying I wish it weren’t so and then providing funds just makes him a lair and a fraud.



report abuse
 

ed

posted June 18, 2009 at 1:07 pm


Rick and the american taliban catholics can’t hear the Vatican telling them to shut up.. and they are soooooo faithful toooooo!!!!!!



report abuse
 

Cautious Man

posted June 18, 2009 at 1:43 pm


That interview was painful to read. Ms. Gallagher just kept badgering him on the same point, over and over. It’s almost as if she was trying to get him to say something that she could point to and say, “Ah-ha! Bad Catholic!”



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted June 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm


Cautious Man obviously missed the point and reads everything with his crazy sensitivity lense. Couldn’t disagree more. The interview was insightful, intellectual and really interesting with a newsmaker. Hardly judgemental like Cautious Man would have you believe. My wife and I read the National Review article since we have have been following the Notre Dame controversary and were glad to hear the other side. Try being objective, before commenting.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Pontifications. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!  

posted 2:38:01pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Moving on, and many, many thanks...
So...my recent vacation and related absences also coincided with an offer from PoliticsDaily.com to cover religion for them, as editor Melinda Henneberger announces here in her roundup on the site's very successful first 100 days. That means, in short, that I'll have to sign off from blogging h

posted 8:29:24pm Aug. 02, 2009 | read full post »

Calvin at 500, Calvinism 2.0
If you thought you knew John Calvin--who turned 500 last week--you probably don't know enough. For example, that he was French, born Jean Cauvin. And if he was in fact scandalized by dancing, he was also a lot more complex than that. I explored the new look Calvin in an essay at PoliticsDaily, "Patr

posted 11:53:35am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

Apologia pro vita sua...Kinda
 In my defense, I've had computer outages and family reunions and a few days of single-parenthood, which is always a bracing reminder of what many parents go through all the time. And this weekend it's off for a week's vacation. Anyway, hence the long absence. Apologies to those who have chec

posted 10:51:36am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

When Benny met Barry: "I'll pray for you!"
The first word via Vatican Radio and first image (that I saw) via Rocco: Speaking to Vatican Radio, Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi said "moral values in international politics, immigration and the Catholic Church's contribution in developing countries" were key topics of discussio

posted 12:54:28pm Jul. 10, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.