What did Benedict write to Obama?

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I figure it was about abortion. Think about it. The pope sends the president-elect a congratulatory telegram, but the Vatican reveals only two partial sentences, saying the rest is “personal.” Considering that the two are not old buddies, that suggests substantive-sensitive-content. And what could be of greater import, from the pope’s point of view, than […]

  • Eric

    Is this a story?

    And what’s with the “not old buddies” remark?? I bet they have yet to even meet…

    Strange post. Not very professional.

  • Francis X. Rocca

    In answer to the two questions from “Eric”: 1) No, a Blog post; 2) Ironical understatement.

  • John

    From Catholic News Service it had nothing to do with abortion, and I find it very confusing that the vicar of christ felt such of an urge to reach out to Obama, a baby killer supporter, instead of Obama reaching out to the supposedly Vicar of Christ, the leader of 1B Catholics, but who by a 61% margin actually voted for this man. I can only believe that the Pope is just like all of the other brainwashed people out there and wanted to be on this mans bandwagon.

    I find this all very sickening, and I cant ever imagine a Pope Pius X, Leo XIII or any pre ecumenic pope do such a thing, and we wonder why so many catholics dont take any of the teachings serious

  • Lois

    Having read what this pope wrote as a cardinal of the Catholic Church and what he has written since being a pope, I can only imagine that this gracious man wrote him a note about the need for salvation after this life, and that what we do here in action will reflect upon our judgement in the hereafter. And I am sure the Holy Spirit is with this man.

  • taad

    I would highly doubt he would get into specifics this soon. It is very resonable for the Holy Father to begin a dialogue with the new leader. Why not? I doubt he would start the conversation with the church that way. You must meet people on a human level first, before anything else. It takes human to human conversation on a friendly basis before tackling anything very serious, unless there is the need for something in an emergency situation, like maybe some of the needs of the poor in third world countries who hurting very badly due to the economy. I am sure he knows the situation very well, but he needs to get to know the man. Give him time.

  • Robert

    I think it would be a waste of time to speculate what it can be. Our hidden biases appear when we speculate on it. Just pray for the best. If Vatican thought it would be best to reveal it, then they would have. Do not be willful.

  • Eric

    Francis X,

    I’m not sure that what our world needs now is more ironic blogging, especially when it is speculative.

    For all we know, Pope Benedict and President Obama could get on famously and work together to make real change.

  • Joseph Pelham


    In view of Pope Benedict’s candor at Regensburg, when his candor was both needed and vindicated (he separated the sheep from the goats), your guess seems well-considered, and I hope correct. As you observed, what is of comparable importance? Obama is an unabashed herald of the culture of death, though very well presented. And Benedict XVI the herald of the culture of life.

  • Larry

    While Senator now President-elect Obama made many statements that lead us to believe he is indeed a strong supporter of abortion. One thing trouble me, or perhaps gives me hope. Given what we know of his upbringing it is highly unlikely he has had very much in the way of moral teaching from either a Christian or Muslim tradition. Perhaps what is needed in addition to prayer is for a careful and precise catechisis or even philosophical discussion on approaches other than Marx. Let us pray that someone will provide a clear and truthfilled education on these points. It is a slim straw; but, “hope springs eternal!”

  • lorenzo_help

    Hi Francis and everyone,

    I think the content of the letter could very well be what you (Francis) speculate, or maybe something more general along the lines of what Lois and Taad speculated above. I for one have no objections or criticism of your post. I am not sure why others do.

    As for putting in my own two cents, as I said I agree with most of the comments above. I also have full trust and faith in Benedict XVI. I think he is a wonderful man and as our visible head and Vicar of Christ on earth, I am confident that he will and should reach out to the new administration, and engage in appropriate dialogue. I have read a lot of Benedict’s writings, and to speak informally, the guy is awesome and exactly what the Church needs in these difficult times. Some of his stuff is very cerebral and difficult to grasp all at once (e.g., Intro to Christianity), but always brilliant. For instance I am reading Truth and Tolerance right now, and from page 242-to about 254 (that’s where I am so far) it was knocking my socks off. By then I was practically jumping up and exclaiming, “Yeah!! Right on! Wow!” Sounds nerdy I know.

    Benedict is no softie or pushover, and he certainly is not kowtowing to Obama; he sticks to his guns and preaches the Gospel unapologetically, but explains this message of Christ in a humble and attractive way.

    I do not think our Pope should wait to be approached, as we can further speculate what would happen- he wouldn’t ever get approached! Rather, just like Jesus reached/reaches out to sinners in the spirit of love, the role, mission and indeed the obligation of the Vicar of Christ to reach out to sinners now. I’m not picking on Obama- we are all sinners, but Jan 20 Obama will be our national leader, and he could definitely do with some guidance. But God bless Benedict and his enormous task. I am his #1 fan!