Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/31/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Everyone who meets Pope Francis encounters his living faith - and is changed in the experience. He is straightforward in his presentation of the truth of the Gospel and is always concerned for the spiritual well-being of everyone he encounters. He is the universal pastor.

There was an exchange of gifts. The president gave the Pope literal seeds from the White House Garden to use in the upcoming planting in the apostolic garden. The Pope gave the President spiritual seeds, the seeds of the Gospel, to be planted in the heart of a man who needs their influence on many, many fronts. Hopefully, they will fall on good soil.When the meeting was over, the President thanked Pope Francis. Vatican reports indicate the President said, "Please pray for me and my family, they are with me on this journey - pray for them." We can all read between the lines of the Vatican statement. Many commentators will be parsing those few words for weeks to come. More importantly, we can all pray that the seed of the Gospel of Joy and Truth which the Pope gave to the President take root.

The Pope and the President

The Pope and the President

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/31/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Pope Francis, President Obama, seeds, Pro-Life, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Religious liberty, Vatican, Deacon Keith Fournier


VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - On Thursday morning, March 27, 2014, President Barack Obama met Pope Francis behind closed doors for close to an hour. Leading up to the meeting, the spinning and speculating was running rampant. 

At the conclusion, it reached a fever pitch.

Over the coming weeks, there will be numerous accounts about the exchange. Some will be accurate, most will not. The spin masters will be out in full force.

I encourage our readers around the globe to pray that the encounter will bear real fruit in the life of President Obama and effect dramatic changes in his leadership.

Everyone who meets Pope Francis encounters his living faith - and is changed in the experience.

He is straightforward in his presentation of the truth of the Gospel and is always concerned for the spiritual well-being of everyone he encounters. He is the universal pastor.

There was an exchange of gifts. The president gave the Pope literal seeds from the White House Garden to use in the upcoming planting in the apostolic garden.

The Pope gave the President spiritual seeds, the seeds of the Gospel, to be planted in the heart of a man who needs their influence on many, many fronts. Hopefully, they will fall on good soil.

The official Vatican release is short but quite insightful:

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.


Pope Francis gave the President a copy of his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, on the joy of the Gospel. The President told him, "I will actually probably read this when I am in the Oval Office and when I am deeply frustrated. I am sure it will give me strength and calm me down."

Speaking in English, Pope Francis replied, "I hope."

We need to pray that the President actually does read this beautiful apostolic exhortation. When and if  he does he will read paragraphs 213 and 214:

Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this.

Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church's effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right.

It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems.

Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defense of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, "every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offense against the creator of the individual".

Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or "modernizations".

It is not "progressive" to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

When the meeting was over, the President thanked Pope Francis. Vatican reports indicate the President said, "Please pray for me and my family, they are with me on this journey - pray for them."

We can all read between the lines of the Vatican statement. Many commentators will be parsing those few words for weeks to come. More importantly, we can all pray that the seed of the Gospel of Joy and Truth which the Pope gave to the President take root.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Europe

Anguished refugee family throws themselves on train tacks after being denied entry into Germany Watch

Image of Photos show a father trying to protect his wife and child by lying down on the tracks in protest. Hungarian officers dragged them away for their own safety.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Western Europe is in its worst throes of a refugee crisis since the 1990s with the sudden influx of North African and Middle Eastern refugees struggling for a better life in the west. One such refugee family, in a series of dramatic photos, threw themselves on ... continue reading


Heartbreaking images of drowned Syrian toddler captures the Middle East's refugee crisis Watch

Image of The body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi is found lying on the shore of a Turkish resort town.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Images depicting the body of a drowned toddler lying on the shores of Bodrum have gone viral, showcasing the desperation of fleeing migrants from Syria and the middle East. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - Two boats carrying fleeing immigrants capsized on ... continue reading


ISIS fighters caught crossing border disguised as refugees Watch

Image of Europe is experiencing a massive amount of migrant intake.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Five ISIS fighters were seized as they attempted to cross the Bulgarian-Macedonian border with gruesome videos and ISIS propaganda on their phones. The terrorist suspects assumed the identities of refugees. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - It was reported ... continue reading


Shocking water misters at entrance of Auschwitz museum remind guests of gas chamber Watch

Image of Misters at the Auschwitz Museum in Polond too closely resemble gas chambers.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Water mists were placed at the entrance of the Auschwitz Museum in Poland in an effort to beat the heat but Israeli visitors were far from "cool." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The mist raining down on guests reminded them of gas chambers, bringing back ... continue reading


Not London, New York or Paris: Luanda, Angola the most expensive city on Earth for... Watch

Image of According to Mercer's annual Cost of Living survey, places Luanda as by far the priciest city for foreign workers to live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's nowhere as well known as New York, Paris or London - but Luanda, Angola remains the most expensive city by far for expatriates to live in. Luanda ranked as the most expensive city to live in for the third time in a row. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Discovery of purported 'Nazi gold train' taken seriously in Poland Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The declarations from a German man and Polish man of discovery a long-lost Nazi train filled with gold and other treasures is being taken seriously by Poland's deputy culture minister. He says he is "convinced" the train exists. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Abandoned truck holds over 20 dead migrants in Austria Watch

Image of Truck found abandoned carrying the bodies of more than 20 dead migrants

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A police manhunt takes place after the discovery of an abandoned truck containing the bodies of migrants attempting to cross Austria's border. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Austrian police report up to 50 migrants suffocated in the back of a refrigerated food ... continue reading


Vatican involvement in Ashley Madison Web site leak disproven Watch

Image of At first glance, the claim seems questionable - why would top Church officials sworn to celibacy sign up for a Web site for married people, and no less one that promotes adultery?

By CNA/EWTN News

Early this week, a leak of personal data from millions of users of Ashley Madison, a Web site designed to arrange extramarital affairs, wreaked havoc on and off the internet. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - At least two suicides have been reported in conjunction ... continue reading


Four-star General reveals horrendous WWII scenes in never-before-seen photographs (PHOTOS) Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Four-star General Charles Day Palmer detailed the fights in Western Front during World War II by taking snapshots of the bombed-out cities and lifeless bodies. He kept personal photos of the battlefields in Germany and France and is now releasing them to the public for ... continue reading


Brainwashed teenage girl taken away from radical jihadi parents Watch

Image of Judge Anthony Hayden, pictured, today compared the radicalization of the 16-year-old girl, known as B as similar to that as child sex abuse.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 16-year-old girl in East London has been removed from her home after a judge ruled that she was being radicalized by her parents with Islamic State propaganda. The straight-A student, known only as "B" was stopped last year when she tried to fly to Syria to ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:33-39
33 They then said to him, 'John's disciples are ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 4th, 2015 Image

St. Rosalia
September 4: St. Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses and Quisquina, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter