Is Obama’s visit with Pope Francis an attempt to bolster Catholic vote?

Pope Francis; Person of the Year

Pope Francis; Person of the Year

President Obama started his visit at the Vatican and Pope Francis on Thursday. While the world’s most powerful religious leader and President Obama have ideological difference on abortion and birth control, they have a common vision on the increasing gap between the rich and the poor. President Obama will no doubt take advantage of this shared vision to bolster the waning Catholic vote.

As Obama arrived at the Vatican amid pomp and tradition of the Catholic church, he bowed to the pontiff, before sitting down at a wooden table and told Pope Francis “It is a great honour. I’m a great admirer. Thank you so much for receiving me.”

Obama considers himself a kindred spirit on economic inequality with the Pope, who accepted the resignation of extravagant spending German Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst. The difference is that Pope Francis lives by what he preaches, while for Obama it is a matter of politics.

The Washington Post reports that the meeting, which lasted less than an hour, has been charged with politics and that President Obama will emphasize their shared view of economic inequality, during a media opportunity later on Thursday.

“The Holy Father has been an inspiration to people around the world, including me, with his commitment to social justice and his message of love and compassion, especially for the poor and the vulnerable among us,” Obama said an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. “And he doesn’t just proclaim the Gospel, he lives it.”

“Given his great moral authority, when the Pope speaks it carries enormous weight,” Obama continued. “That’s why I quoted him in my speech on income inequality.”

Washington Post

Vatican Statement

This morning, 27 March 2014, the Hon. Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America, was received in audience by His Holiness Pope Francis, after which he met with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial meetings, views were exchanged on some current international themes and it was hoped that, in areas of conflict, there would be respect for humanitarian and international law and a negotiated solution between the parties involved. In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform. Finally, the common commitment to the eradication of trafficking of human persons in the world was stated.

Source: Official Vatican NetworK

It won’t be all smooth sailing for the president, the Pope is a son of the church and closely follows the church’s teachings. The pontiff will, undoubtedly raise the issue of mandated birth control and abortion, issues that have turned Catholics away from Democrats. During a recent visit by Secretary of State John Kerry, his Vatican counter part, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, raised the issue of the ObamaCare mandate. After the meeting the Vatican issued a statement that said Parolin had expressed the concern of the U.S. bishops for the reforms in relation to the guarantee of religious freedom and conscientious

While President Obama and the White House view the visit as a political opportunity to move the waning Catholic voter back into the Democratic camp, the Pontiff sees is as a way to reinforce the church’s teachings.

Obama won the Catholic vote in both elections, with heavy support of Hispanic Catholics.

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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2 Comments

  1. I don’t understand why Obama even bothers with the Pope when he so clearly wants to have nothing to do with the Catholic Church and its beliefs. It was very gracious of the Pope to meet Obama and maybe even forgave him 🙂

  2. If obama thinks going to the Vatican will get catholics to accept him & his administration again, he is very mistaken. “Thou shall not lie” (about everything), “Thou shall not steal” (children/homes/money), “Thou shall not kill” (hope/medicalinsurance/jobs/religiousfreedom), “Thou shall have no other Gods” (speaks for itself). No obama your can’t be godless & ask for the God fearings vote!

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