When Pope Francis meets President Obama, expect collaboration over conflict

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Left, Pope Francis passes a crucifix as he walks down steps during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec. 4. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic New Service. Right, President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Left, Pope Francis passes a crucifix as he walks down steps during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Dec. 4. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic New Service. Right, President Barack Obama talks with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during a phone call in the Oval Office, Sept. 27, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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ROME (RNS) American and Vatican officials say the talks between Pope Francis and President Obama may disappoint those hoping for fireworks, and that the summit is going to focus on collaboration much more than conflict.

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  • tony

    So quoting Obama’s ambassador, former aide, Secretary of state and some unnamed source counts as an unbiased, comprehensive analysis of state of US/vatican relations. And of course, conservatives are the bad guy. What a shameless liberal hack.

  • Funny that, thus far, one of Francis’s most charged statements on abortion was when Kerry visited. As for allegedly wanting a change in focus, he never said that. He said, in reference to homiletics, that priests should not preach on moral issues in a disjointed manner.

  • Doc Anthony

    “Conflict”? What conflict? There isn’t any between this Prez and this Pope..

    Obama and Francis are on the exact same page when it comes to legalizing gay marriage. Obama wants to ram legalized gay marriage through your front door, and Francis wants to gently tiptoe it through your back door. Both men are happy with gay marriage becoming the law of the land.

    Already Francis is moving to silence the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, (one of the strongest opponents of legalized gay marriage). He wants them to shut up about the evils of Sodom, and preach about the evils of Capitalism instead.

    Obama and Francis may personally disagree on abortion, but Francis has already signaled that he’s not going to make any trouble for Obama there. Again, American bishops are free to preach about the need for shepherds to smell like sheep, but they are NO longer free to preach about the evils of abortion-on-demand.

    So this article is correct: do NOT expect any conflict between Obama and Francis. They’re buddies.

  • Atheist Max

    The Catholic Church is a fading power in the west.
    Obama too is fading because his major accomplishments are behind him.

    The big events in the world are the rising power of the Russian Oligarchy’s Orthodox Church, the 3-way civil war within Islam; Sunnis vs. Shias vs. Modernism (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Algeria), and Asia’s environmental disasters.

    In none of these situations is a Pope useful.

    And the USA remains woefully undereducated and politically uninformed.
    Obama has not had enough press conferences and – one of the greatest disappointments of his presidency – he has been a very bad teacher.
    Those of us who hated Bush hoped Obama would at least share his thoughts and be more insightful.

  • Dr Rosemary Eileen McHugh

    I am a physician who is Catholic and who has met many who have been sexually abused by priests. Clergy sexual abuse of innocent children and vulnerable adults is a worldwide problem that is still happening, because Pope Francis continues to protect the sexual predator clergy from civil law, and ignores the lifelong damage that is done to the victims. I hope and pray that President Obama and Pope Francis will discuss how the policies in the Vatican are hiding criminals from civil/international law. The predators see the pope as weak, which is putting more children at risk of clergy sexual abuse.

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  • DON

    men are men,just that simple,prone to sin as you and i,yes they are held to a higher standard,many have failed and must be removed from the positions of the priest hood. this pope seems bent on helping the church find it’s rudder to be
    all it can be,people who live in glass houses must be careful to get in a rock fight.
    lets all remember his words love one another as i have loved you,forgive is his
    mantra so why not try it. ohio catholic who is a sinner like you

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