Here’s the irony of the week: Barack Obama is planning a trip to Egypt to give a major “outreach” speech to Muslims just weeks after Pope Benedict XVI is doing exactly the same thing during his current visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
But next week end, President Obama will give an almost as watched speech at the University of Notre Dame where he will be bestowed with an honorary degree and participate in commencement.
In Islam, most people won’t care about Obama’s stands on human life. In South Bend next weekend, his every word will be analyzed seeking middle ground on abortion and stem cell research.
AMMAN, Jordan — For more than 20 years, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then the Vatican’s top doctrinal czar, was the intellectual architect of the papacy of John Paul II.
Thus, when Ratzinger was elected to succeed John Paul as Pope Benedict XVI in April 2005, it was widely seen as a vote for continuity with the late pontiff’s policies.
Four years later, there’s only one strong substantive difference between the two popes, and it’s on display this week as Benedict XVI visits Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories: their approaches to Islam.
With 1.1 billion Roman Catholics and 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, representing about 40 percent of the world’s population, it’s a difference that matters.
Read the rest:
Vatical Official Calls Obama at Notre Dame a “Scandal”
One of the Vatican’s highest ranked clerics and a frequent critic of President Obama said Friday that Notre Dame is causing a “scandal” by giving the president an honorary degree and a platform to address graduates at its commencement next weekend.
‘The proposed granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our president, who is so aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda, is rightly the source of the greatest scandal,” said Archbishop Raymond Burke, who is the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court.
Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis and vocal opponent of giving communion to politicians who support abortion rights, told Catholics at a national prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C., that “with unparalleled arrogance, our nation is choosing to renounce its foundation on the faithful.”
He pointed to several Obama administration decisions that he said have damaged “the fundamental society that is the family,” citing the repeal of the conscience clause, which prohibits health care workers from refusing to participate in abortion-related services; repeal of the Mexico City policy, which allows federal funding to be used abroad to provide abortions; presidential support of the Freedom of Choice Act, which prevents government from in any way denying or interfering with a woman’s right to choose; and support of the U.S. Population Fund, which he noted supports China’s one-child policy.
He blamed loose morals for legislation that would allow same-sex marriages and repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which states have implemented to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
“At the root of the confusion and error about marriage is the contraceptive mentality which would have us believe that the inherently procreative nature of the conjugal union can in practice be mechanically or chemically eliminated while the marital act remains unitive. It simply cannot be sold,” Burke said.
Obama has considerable support from Catholics, having won 54 percent of the Catholic vote in the presidential election. In a Quinnipiac national poll released at the end of last month, 57 percent of Catholics said they approve of the way Obama is doing his job, while 33 percent disapproved.
By comparison, 76 percent of Jewish voters approved of Obama’s performance while Protestants were the most split — 44 percent approval to 42 percent disapproval. The poll had 2,041 registered voters
Burke noted the Catholic support, saying a majority of Catholics freely chose leadership that is now implementing decisions that conflict with the tenets of their faith.
“The path of violation of the most fundamental human rights and of the integrity of marriage and the family which our nation is traveling is not accidental,” he said. “As Catholics, we cannot fail to notice with the greatest sadness the number of our fellow Catholics who cooperate fully to the advancement of a national agenda which is anti-life and anti-family.”
The archbishop also slammed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was confirmed by the Senate last week on a 65-31 vote. Opponents cited her ties to an late-term abortion provider, George Tillman, who is a supporter of the former Kansas governor.
Read the rest: