Speaking on behalf of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Francis George offered his congratulations to President Obama after he received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Chicago cardinal noted that though more work needs to be done, the U.S. president has already contributed to peace nationally and internationally.
Cardinal George, who is the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as Archbishop of Chicago, released a statement yesterday expressing his “congratulations to President Barack Obama” on his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.
The cardinal acknowledged the comments of many critics who have noted that though he has discussed peace, the president has yet to yield results.
“As he has graciously said, much of the work of realizing a more peaceful and just world for all persons and nations remains to be done; but the prize was given because as President of the United States he has already changed the international conversation,” the cardinal remarked.
Fox News reported last week that the award committee chose the president due to his work to reduce nuclear weapons, his commitment to easing tensions with the Middle East and his dedication to cooperation.
The chairman of the Norwegian award committee charged with selecting the peace prize recipient, Thorbjoern Jagland, said that although the president’s initiatives have yet to bear fruit, “Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future.”
Cardinal George added that Obama has already contributed to peace in the United States as the “remarkable and historic achievement of his election” has already “changed the relationships between men and women of all races.”
“The rich diversity of United States society is now more surely anchored in a national unity that is better able to foster the peace we all are challenged to pursue,” the cardinal said, concluding his statement by asking for God's blessing on “the President and his family.”