The Jesuit editors of Amerika Magazine have little clarity about both recent American history or sound theology. This is obvious from their editorial in the 22 June issue.
Be prepared for some bad writing here. They are getting worse.
Now we get this. My emphases and comments.
Pope Benedict XVI will receive President Barack Obama in audience at the Vatican on July 10. Let the gnashing of teeth begin.
Admit it, wasn’t your first impulse to call Dr. Mary Ann Glendon and ask, "If you were still the ambassador, would you show up or would you boycott?" The Cardinal Newman Society, which spent the better part of the spring telling the world that no Catholic could in good conscience share the stage with President Obama, [Isn’t this is a falsehood? The objection was not about "sharing a stage" at all. The objection was that Notre Dame chose to honor the most aggressive pro-abortion politician we have ever seen. What is worse, ND bestowed on him an honorary doctorate of law.] perhaps now they will start issuing press releases entitled "Pope Creates Scandal" or "Outrage at the Vatican." The Catholic News Agency, which featured the headline "Vatican announces Pope’s vacation without confirmation of Obama visit" just a few weeks ago, has nary a mention of the visit on its website this morning. Cat got your tongue?
Obama’s Catholic critics need to re-calibrate their message and it is difficult to see how they will compete with the pictures of Obama in the frescoed halls of the Vatican, his beautiful wife and children in tow, shaking hands with the Holy Father. Actually, in addition to shaking hands, it is traditional that the Pope will present a gift to the President. Does that count as an "honor" of the kind forbidden by the bishops’ document "Catholics in Political Life"? [Puhleeze] Notre Dame, of course, has a tradition of conferring an honorary degree upon every new president that pre-dates presidential visits to the Holy See. [So what? Does that make it right to do in the case of this president? Does this writer seriously think that the gift a Pope gives to a head of state is the same as an honor? An honorary doctorate for law?]
More importantly, and as mentioned yesterday while considering the new document on Catholic health care and labor unions, there are ways to work with people who do not agree with us on certain matters. [Here we go. Start pouring the koolaid.] Let it be said again and again: The Church’s commitment to human dignity, and concern for the protection of the unborn, is not just one issue among many. It is, in a certain sense, foundational to both our moral concerns and to our sense of the right ordering of our nation’s constitutional guarantees. In saying we must work with President Obama we are not suggesting breezily that we should "agree to disagree" and move on. We are saying that we can better witness to our beliefs by engaging the President. [Engage is one thing and honor is another. Perhaps a better witness to our beliefs would have been to decline to honor him.] We are saying that if we spend time in the trenches with him fighting for the rights of workers, the rights of immigrants, and the rights of citizens to health care, our testimony on behalf of the unborn will be more persuasive to this President and his party which is otherwise so dedicated to the vindication of rights but here, on this issue, has a horrendous blind spot. [Riiiiight. President Obama is going to alter his position if the Catholic Church does the heavy lifting on the rest of the President’s list of things to do.]
It was the collective failure of the U.S. bishops to find a way to be represented on the stage at Notre Dame’s commencement, to express their ambivalence about the President, to do what Father Jenkins did, which was to tell the President to his face that we admire him so much but we disagree profoundly with him on abortion and embryonic stem cell research. [It was not a collective failure. It was a collective victory. Had there been bishops there, the scandal would have been far worse.] No single event focused the nation’s attention – live coverage of a commencement address! – on the relationship between the President and the Church, and the bishops spoke only with their absence which is a difficult message to hear. [Why, yes. Indeed it is.]
Next month, Pope Benedict will send a different message. He will undoubtedly address the Church’s concern for the unborn and her opposition to embryonic stem cell research. He will also discuss the economy, and health care, and peace in the Mideast. He will hold the President’s large hands in his small hands, [blech] he will gather Sasha and Malia into the folds of his white cassock, he will treat the President with respect and humanity. Pope Benedict, like the Master, is not afraid to sit down with the publican because, in his wisdom, the Pope knows we are all publicans.
Popes meet with people. Bishops meet with people. No one has said that bishops or His Holiness shouldn’t meet with President Obama or be seen together in public. We are in favor of the Pope meeting with President Obama. This is what Popes do. They meet with all sort of people, even heads of state, good and criminal alike.
John Paul II met with Fidel Casto and Yassir Arafat.
Paul VI met with Idi Amin Dada.
So, Pres. Obama goes to the Vatican. The Pope gives him a gift, some trinket, maybe a blessed rosary or… a little vase. Is that suppose to be the equivalent of an honorary doctorate?
When Popes gives something to heads of state who visit, the gift means little more than "Thanks for coming to my house."
The Pope won’t bestow a formal honor on President Obama.
Do you remember the reasons given by Notre Dame for bestowing this great honor on the aggressively pro-abortion President?
"At the 164th Commencement The May Exercises The University of Notre Dame Confers the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the 44th president of the United States, whose historic election opened a new era of hope in a country long divided by its history of slavery and racism. A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good. ["common good"] Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow. [Great… if you are already born. Er um… but no! Wasn’t there something about denying medical care to some people who were born despite attempts to the contrary?]
On Barack H. Obama, Washington, District of Columbia"
John Paul II describes the "common good" in Evangelium vitae.
72… Laws which authorize and promote abortion and euthanasia are therefore radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good; as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity. Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good.
101… It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop… Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.
BTW… Arizona State University didn’t give Pres. Obama an honorary degree because, as they reasoned it, he had not yet earned one.
Don’t you just hate it when a secular university gets it right and the Catholic university gets it so very wrong?
Amerika doesn’t have a clue.