Supreme Knight on Obama-Pope Visit

Marks New Step in US-Vatican Relations

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, JULY 10, 2009 ( The first meeting between Benedict XVI and Barack Obama could mark the first step in finding common ground between the U.S. president and the Church on abortion, says the supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus.

«It is obvious that President Obama has a serious interest in engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the Catholic Church, and with Catholics, who make up one fourth of the U.S. population,» Carl Anderson said in a press statement released after Barack Obama’s visit to the Vatican today.

«President Obama clearly had much to gain from a successful meeting with the Pope,» he continued. «Certainly this is another achievement for Vatican and American diplomacy and represents a positive development for those of us who hoped that this meeting might mark a new opportunity in the important relationship between the Catholic Church and U.S. government.»

The supreme knight applauded the U.S. president for «showing sensitivity to the growing consensus among the American people favoring the right to life, restriction of abortion, and the protection of conscience.»

Anderson articulated five key issues that will «help provide a true gauge of the progress made on achieving common ground with the Catholic community.»

The first is the «adoption of a federal conscience clause regulation that gives real protection to Catholic institutions and individuals.»

He also noted «health care legislation that does not contain a back door mandate for abortion,» and «abortion-reduction programs that respect pro-life crisis pregnancy and teenage abstinence programs.»

A fourth issue is the «preservation of the pro-life riders that currently exist in the annual appropriations legislation.»

«These riders,» Anderson explained, «which restrict federal abortion funding, also raise conscience protection issues, since their removal would force taxpayers to pay for abortions against their conscience.»

Finally, he suggested «dropping any attempts to codify by statute the president’s rescission of the Mexico City Policy, which allows international abortion funding by the United States.»

«This is an important moment,» the supreme knight added. «The Pope and the president have laid the foundation for trying to achieve authentic common ground. How we build on this meeting in a constructive way in the months and years ahead is critical.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation