Saturday, March 29, 2014

Obama and pope Frnacis

Obama:Common commitment with Holy See possible but “it doesn’t mean we agree on every issue”
 
 
(©AFP) OBAMA'S FACE TO FACE MEETING WITH FRANCIS
Obama is struck and moved by Francis’ testimony. The President taking the possibility of a collaboration with the Holy See seriosuly
ANDREA TORNIELLI
ROME
Barack Obama was visibly moved by his meeting with Francis. Before bidding the Pope farewell, the US President maintained his firm handshake with the Pope longer than protocol dictates. Struck by Francis’ message and testimony, Obama evidently wanted this meeting and is taking seriously the possibility of a common effort by the US and the Holy See in the fight against poverty and human trafficking, as well as in negotiating a solution to the conflict.
 
“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,” the Vatican’s official statement reads.
 
But thorny issues which have caused friction between the US Church and President Obama in the light of Obama’s healthcare reform were ignored. Issues such as abortion, contraception and conscientious objection.” 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,” the Vatican statement reads.
 
But Obama and the Pope did not just talk about what unites them but also about matters the two disagree on. The US President said he shared the Pope’s commitment to eradicate poverty but this is no “holy alliance”.
 
In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, published today, Obama said the following about Francis. Obama said he was deeply grateful to His Holiness for receiving him. Francis “has been an inspiration to people around the world, including me,” the President said referring to the Pope’s efforts in the field of social justice and his message of love and compassion, aimed especially at the poor and vulnerable. President Obama commented on the fact that Francis does not just proclaim the Gospel, he lives it and said everyone, including himself have been struck by the Pope’s humility and his acts of mercy. Francis’ testimony and the simple fact that he goes out and seeks contact with the poor and those living in difficult conditions reminds us all of the responsibility we have as individuals to live righteous and virtuous lives, the President said. He added that we are all aware of the pope’s great moral authority and when the Pope speaks his words are of enormous significance. The President said this was why he mentioned Francis in his speech on income inequality.
 
By continuously putting pressure on us, the Pope warns us of the dangers of getting accustomed to inequality. If we get used to these kinds of inequalities we begin to accept them as the norm, the President added during the interview. And we must not make this mistake.
 
“One of the qualities that I admire most about the Holy Father is his courage in speaking out on some of the great economic and social issues of our time,” Obama said, according to The Washington Post. “It doesn’t mean we agree on every issue, but his voice is one that I think the world needs to hear. He challenges us. He implores us to remember the people, especially the poor, who are affected by the economic decisions we make. He invites us to stop and reflect on the dignity of man.” And as we have been able to witness first hand, his words count. He is able to focus the planet’s attention on an urgent issue in one single phrase. The Pope is able to get the people of the world to pause and reflect, the President said.
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