.- The semi-official Vatican daily, L’Osservatore Romano, has called the decision to award President Obama with the Nobel Peace Prize premature and more of an invitation to choose peace through politics. The award is also questionable because of his position on various bio-ethics issues, especially abortion.
The article points out that “the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama has taken everyone somewhat by surprise, first and foremost the U.S. president himself.”
“During the last 90 years,” L'Osservatore noted, “the prize has never been awarded to a sitting U.S. president—when it was awarded to Jimmy Carter in 2002 he had been out of office already for some time—[but was] involved in politics and susceptible, therefore, to making a range of decisions related to peace.”
Perhaps for this reason, the newspaper said, “Analysts have almost unanimously interpreted his selection as a way of pressuring Obama to make pacifist choices as his administration continues forward.”
L'Osservatore also questioned the administratoion's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying that the decisions seem aimed at trying to find a middle way between “fidelity to the pacifist statements made during the campaign season and a more realistic policy, which some have defined as a continuation of that of the ‘warmonger’ Bush.”
This back-and-forth policy, the paper observed, is very similar to the approach that Obama has taken to “the great bioethics issues, with abortion being first and foremost.” His way of doing things has generated great controversy among Catholics in the country, the daily added.
The Vatican newspaper also brought to mind Mother Teresa being honored with the Peace Prize in 1979, and said, “Obama ought to recall that in 1979 he was preceded by Mother Teresa, who had the courage to state in her acceptance speech that the harshest war with the greatest number of ‘fallen’ is the practice of abortion, legalized and facilitated as well by the international structures.”
Pointing out an inconsistency, L'Osservatore noted that Pope John Paul II was a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize for year but was never chosen for the award, not even in 2003 “after his condemnation of the war in Iraq.”
“Pope Wojtyla was considered by the members of the committee as too ‘conservative’ in other areas, and they feared that awarding it to him would been seen as favoring the Catholic Church over other religions. Their fears were evidently overcome in the much more controversial case of the selection of Obama,” the Vatican daily said, noting that the selection process has become mired in being politically correct.
Nevertheless, the article concluded, “at the same time, as the director of the Holy See’s Press Office has stated, we cannot help but rejoice at the recognition of President Obama’s efforts at nuclear disarmament and his personal disposition towards a policy that seeks peace more than the affirmation of U.S. power in the world.”