This was really weird.
Barack Obama thanked Pope Benedict XVI for “our work together” over these last four years. (What work?)
“On behalf of Americans everywhere, Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years. The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world, and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.”
Unfortunately, those fond memories by Obama are not shared by the Vatican.
In 2009 the Vatican attacked “arrogant” Obama for funding international abortions.
A senior Vatican official on Saturday attacked US President Barack Obama for “arrogance” for overturning a ban on state funding for family-planning groups that carry out or facilitate abortions overseas.
It is “the arrogance of someone who believes they are right, in signing a decree which will open the door to abortion and thus to the destruction of human life,” Archbishop Rino Fisichella was quoted as saying by the Corriere della Sera daily.
Fisichella is president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, one of a number of so-called pontifical academies which are formed by or under the direction of the Holy See.
“What is important is to know how to listen… without locking oneself into ideological visions with the arrogance of a person who, having the power, thinks they can decide on life and death,” he added.
Obama signed the executive order cancelling the eight-year-old restrictions on Friday, the third full day of his presidency.
“If this is one of the first acts of President Obama, with all due respect, it seems to me that the path towards disappointment will have been very short,” Fisichella said.
“I do not believe that those who voted for him took into consideration ethical themes, which were astutely left aside during the election debate.