There must be some vestigial loyalty to the Church buried deep in my disbelieving heart because I find this so disappointing.

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said Obama’s speech at the leading Catholic university on Sunday confirmed what he had said at a recent news conference — that signing the so-called Freedom of Choice Act in the U.S. Congress wasn’t his highest legislative priority. The bill would protect a woman’s right to have a child or end a pregnancy…

The article didn’t mention the protest by dozens of U.S. Catholic bishops who denounced Notre Dame for honoring Obama because his abortion rights record clashes with fundamental church teaching.

Instead, it simply quoted Obama as inviting all Americans to work together to reduce the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies, and concluded he was searching for common ground on the “delicate question of abortion.”…

In addition, L’Osservatore Romano gave Obama a positive review after his first 100 days in office, saying in a front-page editorial that even on ethical questions Obama hadn’t confirmed the “radical” new direction he had discussed during the campaign.

Partisanship aside, and duly noting the political delicacy involved here in not wanting to attack a head of state, can the house organ of the Catholic Church really not muster anything more critical than this about a guy as radically pro-choice as Obama? The idea that they’re clinging to the fact that he hasn’t said he won’t sign the Freedom of Choice Act but merely that it’s not his highest priority is so pathetic, it’d make Doug Kmiec blush. Slublog managed to produce a more righteous editorial last night in our Greenroom, during odd hours away from his kids. I get that the Church doesn’t want to alienate The One’s liberal Catholic supporters, but I suspect those supporters have already made peace with the idea that disapproving sounds about the president’s position on life are bound to emanate from the Vatican now and again. If the Church won’t even stand up for the bishops who spoke out on an issue as fundamental as life, what will it stand up for?