Green Room

Obama to meet Pope Francis at Vatican on March 27th

posted at 1:15 pm on January 21, 2014 by

And boy, do I wish I could be there, if it were possible to be a fly on the wall during that meeting. Barack Obama wants to highlight the fight against income inequality after Pope Francis’ apostolic paper Evangelii Gaudium, but that won’t be the limit of topics from the Pontiff’s perspective:

“The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” the White House said in a statement.

The March 27 visit comes amid sharp disagreements between the administration and the Catholic church on issues such as the health law’s contraception coverage and the U.S. government’s tacit support for gay marriage and legalizing marijuana.

Catholic leaders are also concerned about allegations that the National Security Agency spied on the Vatican and about the State Department’s decision to consolidate the U.S. embassy at the Vatican inside the larger embassy to Italy, for security and financial reasons.

As with most visits between heads of state (as the Pope is for the Vatican), there won’t be much spontaneity on public display. The two will pose for a few minutes at most for the “spray,” the photographer corps’ coverage of the event, and then the two will retreat into private conversation on an agenda framed by negotiations between both governments. For most state visits, there could be a press conference afterward, but not here; Popes don’t usually participate in that format, and I don’t think Pope Francis would do so.

However, this Pope is known for his spontaneity in private and in public, so Obama had better not think that Francis will feel confined to a predetermined agenda. And while there will be plenty of agreement on the need to address profound inequalities in the world, Francis will likely press Obama on abortion and on the attempt to limit the living of faith with the HHS contraception mandate. That conversation might get a little … awkward, to say the least. But that awkwardness is unlikely to come out in public — at least not right away.

Like I said, I wish I could be there for the meeting, but mostly because covering the conclave last March was such a powerful experience. There won’t be as much potential for news in this event, at least not that which can’t be noted from here. Instead, I’ll stick to my plans for coming to CPAC earlier in the month.

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Zero: “Boy, I’m starving! Could we get a couple of hot dogs to eat?”

Pope: “Would you like Nathan’s dogs or Oscar Meyer dogs?”

Zero: “Do you have any Portuguese water dogs?”

Kensington on January 21, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Pope: “Welcome to the Vatican, Mr. President. Would you like to say a pray together?”

Zero: “Sure! Just tell me where I can set my prayer rug down and wash my feet first.”

Kensington on January 21, 2014 at 1:22 PM

My post was not accepted,so let me put it this way. Long live Archbishop Charles Chaput.

celtic warrior on January 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Obama is only going to try to manipulate the Pope and Catholics in order to use them for his agenda. That’s all Obama does is use and manipulate people to get what he wants.

OxyCon on January 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Obama is only going to try to manipulate the Pope and Catholics in order to use them for his agenda. That’s all Obama does is use and manipulate people to get what he wants.

OxyCon on January 21, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Well, if my family is anything to go by, he isn’t going to have to work all that hard. For liberal Catholics, being a Democrat apparently comes well before being Catholic.

Kensington on January 21, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Hopefully the Pope won’t be present while Obama gives a speech.

besser tot als rot on January 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

So a man who serves God will meet with a man who thinks he is God. Interesting.

Shump on January 21, 2014 at 4:54 PM

My post was not accepted,so let me put it this way. Long live Archbishop Charles Chaput.

celtic warrior on January 21, 2014 at 2:04 PM

You mean clerical career climber, Chaput, who volunteered to be Archbishop of Philly despite the scandals because he wanted to become a Cardinal. Hilariously, that might not happen despite Chaput being in the right diocese.. Francis could care less about Philly’s status as an archdiocese. Watch for Chaput to change his tune and start talking about poor people over the next few years.

Illinidiva on January 21, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Bit will obama bow? I’m guessing not.

Fenris on January 21, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Obama will offer the pope all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.

Christien on January 21, 2014 at 5:15 PM

They will meet in an upstairs bedroom in Georgetown. Pro-tip for the pontiff: Bring backup, holy water, and a change of robes.

Christien on January 21, 2014 at 5:17 PM

They will meet in an upstairs bedroom in Georgetown. Pro-tip for the pontiff: Bring backup, holy water, and a change of robes.

Christien on January 21, 2014 at 5:17 PM

Wouldn’t be surprised if obama starts convulsing when the pope touches his hand.

neuquenguy on January 21, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Obama’s big government has redefined and taken marriage away from the Church and Obama is working as hard as he can to force the Church to pay for abortions and still the Pope wants to kiss Obama’s big government Socialist/Marxist ring hoping for some taxpayer monies.

It’s really sad to see such.

RJL on January 21, 2014 at 6:37 PM

A meeting of statists.

Murphy9 on January 21, 2014 at 7:28 PM

So a man who serves God will meet with a man who thinks he is God. Interesting.Shump on January 21, 2014 at 4:54 PM

This.

Francis should consider the 1st Pope’s immortal words; “I will serve God rather than man” then rebuke oboobie for his persecution of the Believers. And when oboobie pulls a Saul of Tarsus; “When have I persecuted God?” Give him 3 examples, abortion, SSM and restricting the exercise of religion to the 4 walls of a church building.

Then publicize the rebuking for the edification of the Saints and unbelievers alike. To not do so and keep the “minutes” secret only serves Satan. For the gospel of Christ is not PC and in fact will tear relationships apart, setting btothers againt brothers, parents against kids, friends against friends.

AH_C on January 21, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Obama is using the Pope, who apparently is a fan of fellow socialist Barack Obama.

bluegill on January 21, 2014 at 10:04 PM

What a waste of time…for the Pope. Not a Catholic, but some of my family are members. I like what I see. Humility shows character, the O, obviously, has no character.

Casper the Friendly Host on January 22, 2014 at 5:40 AM

…another vacation!

KOOLAID2 on January 22, 2014 at 9:39 AM

I’m getting sick to my stomach already thinking about how the Obama administration and the MSM are going to spin the meeting afterwards. They most surely will try to portray the Pope as in “near total agreement” with The Messiah Obama.

olesparkie on January 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Jesus ate with sinners saying that only the sick need a doctor. I would hope that the Pope reads those scriptures to this lying (sinning) excuse for a President.

Deano1952 on January 22, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I hope God is present along with his judgement…

Lourdes on January 22, 2014 at 8:19 PM

They will meet in an upstairs bedroom in Georgetown. Pro-tip for the pontiff: Bring backup, holy water, and a change of robes.

Christien on January 21, 2014 at 5:17 PM

A few of the Church’s most effective Exorcists would be my first suggestion.

Lourdes on January 22, 2014 at 8:21 PM

For liberal Catholics, being a Democrat apparently comes well before being Catholic.

Kensington on January 21, 2014 at 3:54 PM

DITTO.

Lourdes on January 22, 2014 at 8:23 PM