The Holy See doesn’t seem to be getting its rochet in a twist–yet–over Kathleen Sebelius. Religion News Service’s man in Rome, Francis X. Rocca, writes in an RNS blog post titled “Vatican [heart] Obama?” that items in L’Osservatore Romano on consecutive days “suggest that the Holy See is sending friendly signals to the Obama White House, despite strong differences over abortion and embryonic stem cell research…”

Rocca writes:

“Yesterday’s edition featured a short item about HHS Secretary-designate Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic whose bishop has told her not to receive Communion on account of her support for abortion rights. The Osservatore article mentioned neither Sebelius’s faith nor her stand on abortion, which could mean that the Vatican doesn’t expect American Catholics to make an issue out of either.

More explicitly favorable is an article in today’s paper praising Obama’s proposed budget for its heavy spending on welfare and health care. According to the unsigned article: ‘After a decade of exaltation of individual enrichment, today the USA, struck by the economic crisis, is witnessing instead the pressing resurgence of the values of solidarity.’

If I were Obama’s Catholic liaison, I’d start circulating that quotation right now.”

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