On Thursday, Obama met with Pope Francis, a scheduled half hour meeting that lasted about 52 minutes. “Wonderful meeting you, I’m a great admirer,” said Obama. Francis responded, “Thank you, sir, thank you.” The two discussed a variety of issues, including immigration reform, income inequality, contraception, and religious freedom.
Now the mainstream media wants to make the relationship between them sound perfect and cozy. However, the differences in opinions speak for itself. Although the church and Obama both support immigration reform, there is still disagreement on religious liberty, abortion, and the HHS mandate by forcing Catholic institutions to provide contraception, which is against their belief.
With Obama’s record low approval ratings while Pope Francis has high approval ratings, it would be no surprise if Obama was hoping to get a boost from the meeting. In fact, the Pew Research Center conducted a recent poll, where 8 out of 10 U.S. Catholics had a favorable view of Francis. However, it is unfortunate that Obama will even go so far as to use the pope’s words for political purposes. With the Holy Father’s document Evangelii Gaudium published last November, which critiqued capitalism, Obama used excerpts from it in the past few months to support his liberal economic agenda.
As a Catholic, I find it offensive when our president is waging a war on Christians and especially Catholics with the HHS mandate while claiming to still admire the pope. He also spoke to an Italian source shortly before meeting with the pontiff. “The Pope challenges us. He implores us to remember people, families, the poor. He invites us to stop and reflect on the dignity of man.”
Obama should realize that church teaching doesn’t officially support unlimited taxation, redistribution of wealth, and more government. I’m afraid that it is just more talk by Obama. He says he wants to connect with Pope Francis and the church, yet keeps waging a war on religious freedom with his policies.