Skip to content

President Obama Meets Pope Francis: They Exchange Very Different Kinds of Seeds

By Deacon Keith Fournier
3/31/2014 (3 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

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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More Europe

Will Europe return to its Christian roots? Watch

Image of Europe is at a crossroads.

On Sunday, the people of Austria elected a new government. At 31 years of age, Sebastian Kurz is poised to become Europe's youngest head of ... continue reading


Prisoners use lunch with Pope Francis to escape Watch

Image of Two prisoners have escaped during a lunch with Pope Francis.

Two prisoners have escaped from a lunch with Pope Francis. They remain at large. It is unlikely the Pope will change his habits of visiting ... continue reading


Pope Francis appoints Cardinal Burke back to Vatican Court Watch

Image of Cardinal Raymod Burke has been reappointed to the Vatican court.

Saturday the Vatican announced Pope Francis appointment of Cardinal Raymond Burke as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic ... continue reading


Defend Us in Battle: Benedict XVI and Pope Francis Consecrated the Vatican to Michael the Archangel Watch

Image of Michael the Archangel, Defend us in Battle

On Friday, July 4, 2013 Pope Francis was joined by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the gardens for a ceremony during which the Holy Father ... continue reading


Church tricked into hosting satanic fashion show Watch

Image of Turkish fashion designer, Dilara Findikoglu said she has a fascination with magic and the occult.

A London church inadvertently hosted a satanic fashion show after renting their facility to a fashion designer who dabbles in the occult. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.