Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, met with President Barack Obama on Wednesday afternoon. In their private meeting of about 30 minutes, they discussed the role of the Catholic Church in the U.S. and its relation to the new Administration.
Cardinal George expressed his gratitude for the meeting and expressed his hopes that it will foster fruitful dialogue for the benefit of the common good, a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) statement reports.
According to the White House, the president and the cardinal discussed a wide range of issues, including “important opportunities for the government and the Catholic Church to continue their long-standing partnership to tackle some of the nation’s most pressing challenges.”
“The President thanked Cardinal George for his leadership and for the contributions of the Catholic Church in America and around the world,” the White House said.
Cardinal George recently warned that the Obama Administration’s review of conscience protection rules for pro-life medical workers risk moving the country towards “despotism.”
Speaking as the head of the U.S. bishops just after Obama’s election this past November, Cardinal George lamented that some Catholics must put aside Catholic teachings in order to be considered full partners in American life.
In particular, Cardinal George singled out the issue of Catholic beliefs on abortion being sidelined.
“The common good can never be adequately incarnated in any society when those waiting to be born can be legally killed at choice… common ground cannot be found by destroying the common good.”