Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pope Greets "Hope"?

My friends at Darwin Catholic just forwarded me this sickening piece of propaganda from Catholic Democrats:

June 30, 2009

Media Contacts:
Ph: 617-817-8617

Catholic Democrats Announces "Pope Greets Hope" Campaign to Support July 10th Meeting Between President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI

Thousands of Catholics Signing Letter of Solidarity at http://www.popeandpresident.org/

Boston, Mass. - Catholic Democrats, a not-for-profit national organization advancing a public understanding of Catholic Social Teaching and its potential to help solve the challenges confronting out society, is announcing today a new Web site - http://www.popeandpresident.org/ - in support of the upcoming meeting between President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI on July 10th. The site invites Catholics to sign a Letter of Solidarity with the Pope and the President.

The letter outlines the mutual efforts of the pope and the president on a broad range of pressing issues, including:

  • building true understanding among nations
  • eliminating nuclear weapons
  • promoting economic justice and reducing the poverty that diminishes the dignity and potential of people across the globe
  • working toward the common ground of promoting the sanctity of all life [ED.: This would be laughably funny if it weren't such a pathetic misstatement of this President's intentions and if real lives weren't being lost due to his policy preferences]
  • encouraging the world's great religions to greater dialogue and understanding, thus promoting peace and tolerance
  • and supporting programs and policies that preserve God's creation

  • "As Catholics in America, we are gratified that you, our Pontiff, and you, our President, recognize the opportunity before you now to promote the common good. [ED.: What? The Vatican (under this Pope and previous Popes) and previous presidents didn't recognize previous opportunites to promote the common good? Only "now" this is happening? Spin, spin, spin.] You inspire our hope and call us to personal and social responsibility to help make the world a better place for our human family. We pledge to work with both of you in this effort and we pray that your meeting will lead to a new quest to establish peace, promote freedom, and enhance the dignity of all humanity," reads the Letter of Solidarity.

    "By meeting in the early days of this new administration, President Obama and Pope Benedict have signaled their intent to embark on a productive collaboration," [ED.: That's a somewhat presumptuous statement regarding the Pope's intentions, is it not?] said Dr. Patrick Whelan, president of Catholic Democrats. "At a personal level, these two men share an expansive intellect and a love of learning. But the real story of this meeting is the extensive common ground shared by the Vatican and this White House [ED.: That's the "real story", huh? Or is that the spin you'd like to put on the story in order to gloss over the GLARING differences between the Church and the President on life issues?] on confronting issues ranging from the devastation of poverty due to the world economic crisis, to healing the planet and promoting peace."
    The president and the pope will meet on the afternoon of July 10th at the Vatican, following the G8 Economic Summit in L'Aquila, Italy.

    "When popes and presidents meet, great things can happen," said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats. "Given the global issues before us today, arguably the most daunting in generations, as well as the anticipated papal encyclical on economic justice, this meeting takes on added significance. It presents an historic opportunity for these two pivotal leaders to provide a vision of the possibilities to address the world's challenges from the common ground they share, including the hope that shapes their lives. We urge people to join us in offering their prayers and support for the pope and the president."


    About Catholic Democrats
    Catholic Democrats is an association of state based groups representing a Catholic voice within the Democratic Party, and advancing a public understanding of the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching and its potential to help solve the broad range of problems confronting all Americans. For more information about Catholic Democrats please go to www.catholicdemocrats.org
    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

    My Comments:
    And before the "tu quoque" games begin, I defy anyone to find a similar statement regarding the Pope's various meetings with the previous occumpant of the Oval Office (especially one equating George W. Bush with one of the cardinal/theological virtues ... much less designating him as the embodiment thereof) coming from a prominent group of Catholic conservatives.

    The Cranky Conservative offers his take here: "Shameless".

    UPDATE #2 (1 July 2009)
    My post on the subject at First Thoughts:
    President to Give Author of Spe Salvi Pointers on “Hope”
    (hat tip to Christine for the idea)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    President Obama to Visit Vatican

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    At 6/30/2009 5:58 PM, Blogger Christine the Soccer Mom said...

    Perhaps they ought to read Spe Salvi again? My hope is not in the president. Neither should theirs be.

    At 7/01/2009 7:41 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

    Exactly! When it comes to "hope", I think the Holy Father knows a thing or two himself, completely without reference to the left's new messiah.

    When it comes to "hope", I'm buying what the Pope is selling, not what some community race hustler from Chicago is selling.

    At 7/01/2009 5:05 PM, Blogger Frank said...

    Thank you for your post. Although you referred to this excerpt as a "sickening piece of propaganda," I found myself less nauseated than you seem to have. Perhaps it is due to a stronger stomach, or perhaps, you are letting your narrow focus obscure the potential that can come from any honest dialogue between two parties. Only time will tell...

    I have noticed that instead of composing a blog that was structured on a consistent and developed train of thought, you have chosen instead to add your own notes amidst the original piece. An interesting approach, as it is always easier to tear down the statements of another, as opposed to providing the solid basis for your own (as an attorney, I am certain you are well-versed in the techniques of rhetoric and debate).

    This is clearly a letter that highlights the desires to achieve many of the criticisms upon which you focused, and should not be taken as an assumption that these achievements already exist. Promoting the sanctity of all life is the committed purview of neither political party in the United States, as both fail in some areas. However, it is encouraging to know that President Obama will have the chance to hear some of the personal reflections of the Holy Father during their meeting. As I mentioned above, sitting down together to discuss ideas is always preferable to simply sitting on opposite sides of the room, pouting about the disagreement. Or, at least, it is if you are actually looking to effect change...

    It is my hope that the meeting between the Holy Father and President Obama will provide an opportunity for fruits that may continue throughout the remainder of his presidency. There is much which remains to be worked upon in the United States, and the Catholic Church as never focused solely on single issues. Perhaps the two leaders will take the time to discuss the Holy Father's coming encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, and how we can take a more Christian approach to economics than has been embraced by our predominantly capitalist system.

    I believe it would be more fruitful to pray for the blessings of the Holy Spirit on this meeting of two important world leaders, rather than condemn any prospects for hope before God even has a chance to work.

    At 7/01/2009 10:06 PM, Anonymous Donald R. McClarey said...

    Pope greets the supporter of the disguised infanticide known as partial birth abortion. Amazing how many Obama supporting Catholics will spill endless verbiage to disguise the fact that their leader has complete contempt for the right to life of the unborn. "Sickening propaganda" was a completely accurate phrase to use Jay.

    At 7/02/2009 4:50 AM, Blogger Frank said...


    It was not my intent to disguise President Obama's support for legalized abortion in the United States, and I fully believe that we, as Catholics, should challenge him to rethink his political position and better support the dignity of all human life, particularly the unborn. However, I refuse to believe that a single mistaken belief can negate God's ability to work good through an individual's life. In my own life, I have found that God most often works through my brokenness, and not necessarily through the qualities I feel are my strengths. Perhaps that will be so for our nation's leader as well...

    In my post, I only wished to express that I share in the hope that some good may come of the meeting between our president and the Holy Father. Pope Benedict is a wise and strong leader; I do not believe he would have agreed to participate in such a meeting if he did not have some hope for the fruits of the outcome. I am comfortable trusting in the judgment of the Bishop of Rome, and I will share in the hope he has for a successful meeting with President Obama.

    At 7/02/2009 7:45 AM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

    Nice strawman, Frank. No one here is questioning the Holy Father's decision to meet with the President. Of course the Pope should meet with the head of state of the most powerful and influential country in the world.

    What I find offputting is the presumptuousness of the statement from Catholic Democrats in ascribing a particular intent to Pope Benedict in meeting with the President. What I find disingenuous is the attempt by Catholic Democrats to portray THIS particular papal audience with THIS particular President as somehow more historic than previous such meetings and as indicative of the Pope's endorsement of the President's agenda. What I find insipid is the way Catholic Democrats continues to portray the President as the embodiment of the theological virtue of Hope. And what I've pointed out is the irony of their making Obama the "prophet of Hope" in his meeting with a Pope who knows a thing or two more about Hope (he is, after all, the author of Spe Salvi) than the President will ever know.

    At 7/02/2009 5:39 PM, Blogger Frank said...


    I appreciate your reflections, and as I mentioned above, I share your concerns about President Obama's positions on several life issues. However, having read the piece you included in your original post several times, I just don't feel the Catholic Democrats were expressing some of the ideas you seem to have detected in the piece. For instance, the sentence, "As Catholics in America, we are gratified that you, Our Pontiff, and you, our President, recognize the opportunity before you now to promote the common good." To me, that sentence says nothing of denying the actions of previous popes or presidents, so I don't see the "spin" you are referring to.

    I believe many people who are willing to express their ideas in public debate are often a little tempted to take up the defensive position too early. Sometimes, instead of giving others the benefit of good intentions, we hidden agendas and political schemes where none exist. As I made this same failure in my original comment to your post, I must admit that I am as prone to this as anyone. It is clear that your faith has a guiding influence on your public speech and political actions, and that's certainly something to be commended. But, I believe it's possible that the Catholic Democrats share a sincere motive guided by their faith as well.

    To the degree that President Obama fails to promote our Christian principles in the world, I hope that you will continue to challenge him to become a more prophetic leader. But, speaking with the first hand experience of someone who may not totally agree with you, I believe we have to keep in mind that the individuals on the other side of the table also believe they are following God's will.

    At 10/18/2009 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Did you vote for Obama?

    Does Catholic Democrats have a chapter where you live, and are you a member of it? The president of Catholic Democrats has yet to reveal his position on abortion. I've been in contact with him for quite some time now, and he won't admit that abortion is murder. He also believes that it should remain legal.

    This "common ground" that Obama supposedly is working toward is just smokescreen for people like you waiting around for him to do something. The pro-abortion and pro-life sides will NEVER have common ground, because that ground lies on the issue of when life begins. The pro-abortion side will NEVER NEVER NEVER EVER admit that life begins at the moment of conception.

    Only when the two sides can agree that life begins at conception can they even begin to find common ground about how to solve the problems that abortion supposedly cures.

    Obama will say anything to make people like him. He told Planned Parenthood that he will never back down to secure reproductive rights for women. And he'll use nice words to make you believe he's serious about solving the problems that lead women to have abortions in the first place. By the way, according to KKKlan Parenthood, women have abortions because of "unintended pregnancies", so the solution is to promote artificial birth control.

    Population control is necessary in order for socialism and the Democratic party policies to work.


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