Our President is in the midst of a week-long European tour to try to drum up support for sanctions against Russia to dissuade them from their invasion the Crimean Peninsula. Although he is pretty busy, the Prez was still able to take some time from his Putin wrist-slapping schedule to go and have a chat with the Pope. In case you’re wondering, he didn’t go for spiritual advice.
If you listen to Obama’s comments about the meeting, he went to visit the pope to discuss his new talking point, income inequality. Pope Francis has been outspoken when it comes to poverty issues, and Obama, seeing what he thought was a surefire endorsement of his political agenda, went to get a moral stamp of approval. Obama stated that he was moved by the Pope “not simply thinking in terms of our own narrow self-interests,” and that “social schisms” were “not a topic of conversation. ”
But according to the Vatican’s statement about the meeting, the two leaders talked about issues of concern for the Church in the US, namely “rights to religious freedom, life, and conscientious objection ,” which is basically what you’d think the Pope would want to bring up with our pro-abortion, pro-birth control mandate, anti-conscientious objection President. According to the Vatican, they also discussed immigration reform and the need to eradicate human trafficking.
You might be asking yourself, why is there such a discrepancy in the description of the focus of the meeting? Why would one side say that they talked about moral issues, and the other side say that it never came up? Could it be that President Obama, who has caused a fair amount of discord between himself and Catholic leaders in the US, wants to distance himself from any moral disagreements so he can point to a papal endorsement of his wealth redistribution plans?