Today the daily edition of L'Osservatore Romano provided two different stories related to President Obama, one slightly positive on his visit to Notre Dame, and another one strongly critical on his stand regarding embryonic stem cell research.
The first article, titled "Obama in search for common ground," reports on President Obama's speech at Notre Dame. "The search for common ground seems to be the road chosen by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to confront the sensitive abortion issue," L’Osservatore says.
The Vatican newspaper also says that Obama chose the ceremony at Notre Dame to restate his position that FOCA "is not a priority for his administration."
"Strong polemics have marked the weeks following the invitation to President Obama made by (ND) President, Fr. John Jenkins. And also yesterday, as was completely predictable, demonstrations were not missing." L'Osservatore acknowledges.
But the article also highlights Obama's invitation "to Americans of all faiths and ideological convictions to hold hands in a common effort to reduce abortions."
A few pages later, L'Osservatore Romano dedicates another, far more critical article of Obama's stand on embryonic stem cell research, marking a clear departure from the somewhat positive evaluation the newspaper recently made of the President’s first 100 days.
The article, titled "Campaign in the US against stem cells," features the effort launched by the U.S. bishops, especially the web site of the USCCB, to oppose Obama's new policy regarding the use of embryos for scientific research.
"According to the new guidelines," the Vatican newspaper says, "after President Barack Obama reversed the decision of the Bush administration regarding the ban on (federal funding for) embryonic stem cell research, for the first time taxpayers' money will be used to kill human beings in embryonic state to obtain stem cells."
In the article, L'Osservatore Romano extensively quotes Cardinal Justin Rigali and Archbishop Charles Chaput, one of the most vocal critics of Obama’s anti-life policies.
"The Archbishop of Denver –the Vatican newspaper says- insists that 'American public life cannot function if we keep our religious beliefs in the closet … the US does not need to be a Christian country, but it cannot survive if it is not open to solidarity and faith."
"Finally," L'Osservatore’s story concludes, "Archbishop Chaput expressed his perplexity regarding the White House opening speech of the U.S. President Barack Obama, the day of his installation, regarding the role of science in society. 'Science’ said the Archbishop of Denver, ‘has to be at the service of human dignity, but will never be above or outside God's moral judgment. Jews, Protestant, Catholics and other believers have a common treasure to protect: faith in God, and we must defend Him with mutual respect without excuses, alibis or conflicts'."
By expressing strong support to the U.S. bishops and quoting Archbishop Chaput’s recent conference at the Becket Fund dinner, L'Osservatore Romano has put to rest speculation that the Vatican was being "unsupportive" of the American Bishops' strong criticism to Obama's anti-life policies.Visit our Notre Dame photo gallery: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/obama_notredame/