Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

3/31/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find-even within the huge cities of the world-opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More Europe

World Youth Day 2016 begins! Find the event's FULL SCHEDULE here Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The 31st World Youth Day begins today, July 26, in Krakow, Poland. Although Pope Francis is not expected to arrive until tomorrow, the events are already underway, with a welcome to the pilgrims and later an opening mass. Here is the full schedule of events expected to ... continue reading


Pope Francis 'implores God's peace for the world' after horrific attack on French church Watch

Image of

By Ann Schneible (CNA/EWTN News)

Pope Francis has decried the "absurd violence" which has left an elderly priest dead after his church in northern France was taken hostage during Mass. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - In a statement released Tuesday by the Vatican, the Pope, having been informed of the ... continue reading


PLEASE PRAY! Catholic priest savagely beheaded by ISIS terrorists DURING MASS in France! Watch

Image of Let us pray for Fr. Jacques Hamel!

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Islamic terrorists in France have attacked a Catholic church, murdering a priest. They also took nuns and parishoners hostage. The terrorists were eventually killed by police. Another hostage was gravely injured by the terrorists. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


Germany suffers multiple attacks Watch

Image of Germany falls prey to several attacks (Nick Edwards/Daily Mail).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Germany saw multiple attacks this weekend, leaving several people injured and one pregnant woman brutally slaughtered by a machete. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrman <a ... continue reading


New British Prime Minister Theresa May flashes ILLUMINATI hand signal, here's what it could mean and why some people are worried (SECRET PHOTOS) Watch

Image of The dollar bill is rumored to contain Illuminati symbols such as the pyramid.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Is the new Prime Minister, Theresa May a member of the Illuminati? According to some theories, the answer is yes. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - British Prime Minister Theresa May is a member of the Illuminati, according to one popular theory on the web. The ... continue reading


Archaeologists finish dig at Must Farm. Here's some of the incredible things they've discovered Watch

Image of A bronze sword with a wicked point reveals the local people were well equipped.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The excavation of a Bronze Age site in England is giving archaeologists a look into ancient Britain. The archaeologists are having the experience of a lifetime on the dig. The site is the richest, most complete Bronze Age site in England and possibly Europe. LOS ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special World Youth Day message (FULL TEXT) Watch

Image of [http://www.krakow2016.com]

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

As Pope Francis prepares for the 31st World Youth Day, he sent a special message out to the world's young people joining the spectacular event. This years WYD is being held in Krakow, Poland and the Holy Father will make an appearance as part of his 15th apostolic ... continue reading


One clue police missed could have stopped attack in Nice Watch

Image of The dead lined the streets all night in Nice following a deadly terror attack that claimed 84 lives.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An ISIS fanatic has killed 84 people and injured at least 65 others, some critically during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France. The terrorists killed most of his victims by driving over them with a delivery truck. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


'[M]any believers will find themselves in exile': Russia bans evangelism Watch

Image of St. Michael's Russian Catholic Church (stmichaelruscath.org).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The lion roars: who is not afraid? The Lord has spoken: who will not prophesy? - Amos 3:8 LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to The Moscow Times, the Federation Council (FC) approved a package of controversial anti-terrorism laws, among which "religious ... continue reading


READ ALL ABOUT IT: Michelle Obama's unfortunate faux pas during Spanish speech Watch

Image of Michelle Obama delivered ill-received message to Spain.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Michelle Obama delivered a speech in Spain to promote her "Let Girls Learn" initiative. Unfortunately for the First Lady, her pro-choice statements fell flat in the heavily Catholic country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Mrs. Obama delivered a speech aimed at ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Pokemon Go player with CCW halts attempted robbery
  • Daily Reading for Thursday, July 28th, 2016 HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, July 26, 2016
  • World Youth Day 2016 begins! Find the event's FULL SCHEDULE here
  • Prayer for Healing HD Video
  • Bernie Sanders dominates first night of Democratic primary
  • Sts. Joachim and Anne: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 44:1, 10-15
1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:11, 13-14, 17-18
11 Yahweh has sworn to David, and will always remain true to his word, 'I ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:16-17
16 'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 26th, 2016 Image

Sts. Joachim and Anne
July 26: Saints Joaquin (sometimes spelled "Joachim," ... Read More