If only they could get that partnership on track!

Which of these pairs doesn’t belong:

  1. Pope John XXIII – Pres. Kennedy
  2. Pope John Paul II – Pres. Reagan
  3. Pope Benedict XVI – Pres. Obama

In his piece called "Obama and Benedict: A partnership delayed, but not yet denied", Allen is trying with all his might to push a nexus between Pres. Obama and Pope Benedict as if they were somehow comparable to Reagan and John Paul II. 

But here is the interesting paragraph you probably missed this because you were probably still laughing:

Obama seems anxious to move the ball on other elements of his agenda, at least some of which (such as immigration reform) create the possibility of common cause, not conflict, with the bishops. The White House has an eye on both the 2010 and 2012 elections, when the 67 million Catholics in America will once again be “in play.” Senior Vatican officials, meanwhile, are anxious to show that the papacy has not been paralyzed by the sexual abuse crisis. (Gian Maria Vian, the editor of L’Osservatore Romano, told me this week in Rome that one reason the paper has not devoted a tremendous amount of space to the subject is because they don’t want to seem obsessed with it.)

Does this look like collusion to frame the relationship between Pres. Obama and Pope Benedict in closer terms than the rest of the world would want to imagine?

Cui prodest?

Apparently, both Pres. Obama and Pope Benedict have been too "distracted over the past twelve months" by other things to get to work on that partnership they surely want.

Pope Benedict is so overwhelmed with the sex abuse crisis that he is now writing his third book on the Lord before the second is even translated.

Pres. Obama is so overwhelmed with oil gushers and immigration and jobs that he has had to cut down his golf time. 

Neither of them have the time to pick up that darn phone and make that call!


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Stu says:

    And Elvis is still alive and will join the team.

  2. robtbrown says:

    It would be interesting to know Allen’s sources for this story. I’m not sure what Rome wants from a partnership with Obama, but I do know that it doesn’t want to appear to be too close to such a pro-abortion politician.

    IMHO, it appears that Obama has more to gain than BXVI does. I don’t think the brief to SCOTUS re Vatican immunity means much. The fact that we have a diplomatic mission to the Vatican indicates its sovereignty.

  3. “Obama seems anxious to move the ball on other elements of his agenda, at least some of which (such as immigration reform) create the possibility of common cause, not conflict, with the bishops.”

    If by “the bishops” he means that bureaucratic behemoth of a political action committee known as the USCCB, then I would say Obama already has a rather cozy bedfellow when it comes to their shared cherry-picked version of social justice.

    This is the same Conference that told the nation that health coverage is a basic human right (with no mention whatsoever about subsidiarity) and then fretted over Obamacare’s passage. Their public posture on the Arizona illegal immigration law was one of immediate condemnation (with little mention of the rights of legitimate public authority much less the duty of immigrants to obey the law).

    I’d say Obama is pretty pleased with the USCCB at this point.

    But as for a future of warm relations between Obama and Pope Benedict? I wouldn’t count on it. The only reason the Left continues to nurture the fantasy is because the poor fools honestly think Nancy “The word is the Word” Pelosi is Catholic.

  4. This is what my dad used to refer to as a “Slow News Day.”

    Things that would never MAKE the news, let alone get coverage if they did, are suddenly thrust to us.

    Maybe Obama could speak to the new translation of the Missal. It would fit his agenda of coming out of left field, and speaking on something to which he has no expertise. It might also engender some more Orthodox Catholics into his camp.

    Oh, wait, have I just made this story MORE RIDICULOUS?

  5. chonak says:

    The Church has been willing to negotiate with obnoxious governments before. One can’t rule it out.

    Perhaps it would be good to propose a concordat, even, to secure recognition for the conscience rights of Catholics.

  6. Frank H says:

    What a contrast. Our Holy Father writes while the president golfs. LOL! BTW, did the Obama’s ever find a church to attend?

  7. Oleksander says:

    honestly i think we give ourselves too much credit, obama dosent think for a second about catholicism (the religion may have crossed his mind while at notredame) it is his goons that do the dirty work, if anything he gives an okay to the health service advisory to start a religious initiative and it is them that work on the catholics (25% of them anyways, since the rest 75% of catholics in USA could care less about anything churchwise) – in the end with our practicing numbers we politically are just as influential as the southern baptist convention, sadly

    pope and church rarely if ever cross obama’s mind, when it comes to God he probably only thinks about black church(not a bad thing) but the particularly black liberation theology (bad thing) which is so key to his spirituality (no matter how minute of one he has)

  8. The Cobbler says:

    Call me cynical, but did either of those first two pairs belong either?

  9. Jack Hughes says:

    @The Cobbler

    Well at least they were both Catholic; even if the President seemed to have missed the Confermation class when sins against the 6th commandment were explained.

  10. doanli says:

    Obama is probably thinking of making himself Pope!

  11. Athelstan says:

    The drawing of “partnerships” between any president and pope are going to be overwrought. If they happen at all, it will be issue-specific. And on that score…Reagan/JPII is probably the strongest pairing there has ever been – and even that one can be overstated (even on combating Soviet rule in Eastern Europe).

    Further, since modern popes tend to reign for longer than American presidents serve, it may not be clear which president a pope may find the most fruitful relationship with. John Paul II, after all, reigned during the administrations of five American presidents – three of them two-termers. Even Paul VI had to work with five presidents. Can we really say he had a strong or close working relationship with any of them?

    All that said, the possibilities of active cooperation between the Obama administration and Benedict XVI seem limited to me – and the points of friction remain numerous. The most likely issue – immigration – doesn’t strike me as one that Rome seems eager to jump into, especially given the implications for Europe. Certain American bishops, on the other hand, may be easier to cultivate.

  12. EXCHIEF says:

    Yes the Church suffers from the abuse problem. Why compound one mistake with another. Two wrongs do not make a right and any support for what Obama stands for is W R O N G

  13. JimGB says:

    Obama has no interest whatsoever in any type of partnership with Pope Benedict. Catholics in the U.S. are like other groups to be manipulated for political advantage, and unfortunately too many Catholics are willing pawns (e.g., leadership of Notre Dame and Georgetown and the “magisterium of nuns”).

  14. momravet says:

    Obama is an atheist. He is the child of two atheists and was taught that religion was something that one was aware existed but could be ignored. It would be a miracle if Obama and Pope Benedict ever come to a meeting of the minds.

  15. Clinton says:

    I imagine that our president regards our Pope as just another–what was the phrase?–oh yes, “bitter clinger”.

  16. Esther says:

    I agree with most of this, but it seems unfair to criticise Obama for playing golf. He needs to take excercise so he can stay healthy enough to do his job. He’s done some evil things, and failed to do a lot of good things which he could have done, but that has nothing to do with golf.

  17. Traductora says:

    I hope Allen is not attempting to spread this as a notion in the collective unconscious. Obama would like nothing better than to be seen as close to the Pope and the real leader of American Catholics, even though he himself is probably a Muslim, if he’s anything. But he wants to control everything around him, and the Church will ultimately be the only thing that stands between the State (and Obama is a L’etat c’est moi type of guy) and it’s goal of total control of human life.

    While I think it’s important to oppose Obama on abortion, this is just an expression of his overall goal, which is to make every individual (and that individual’s conscience) subject to the wishes and goals of the State.

    Sadly, the Catholic left is very statist, and I think they are the ones trying to give the image of Obama as a quasi-Catholic leader. That photo of him receiving the degree at Notre Dame was nauseating, but it made their hearts thrill.

  18. A partnership like oil and water. Obama is gushing evils which kill and destroy (literally through abortion and spiritually through marxist beliefs) and Pope Benedict XVI is providing life giving Water. Some true colors are showing for a writer who wades in “HCR” – heretical catholic reporter – some version of “innocence by association.”

  19. chonak says:

    If the Rev. Wright is any indicator, Obama’s religious belief is likely Black liberation theology: that is, his religion is a subset of his politics. (As it happens, Glenn Beck has been exploring the topic creditably this week.)

  20. wanda says:

    You said it, Fr. Marie-Paul! I had the exact same image of oil and water. Yep, that #3 partnership ain’t gonna happen.

  21. irishgirl says:

    Amen, Fr. Marie-Paul and wanda!

    I’d stand by our Papa Benedict and against Obama anyday!

    Obama is leading us into the desert, whereas Benedict is a true shepherd!

    That #3 partnership ain’t gonna happen, as wanda says! No way, no how!

  22. gtbradshaw says:

    Thank you for calling out John Allen. Its beyond me WHY he gets so much credibility from the Catholic CyberChurch when you consider who signs his paychecks….its all “fishwrap”, doesn’t matter whose byline it is.

  23. gtbradshaw: John Allen is normally a good reporter and quite insightful. He is generally fair-minded. I think he is wasted on the Fishwrap. But in this article… well… I don’t agree with his analysis.

Comments are closed.