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Thursday, March 27, 2014

President Obama meets Pope Francis - two like minded progressives

As a Roman Catholic, I applaud President Barack Obama's overt outreach to our two living Pontiffs.

President Obama traveled to Rome with his family to meet Pope Benedict XVI, who has since resigned the office.

This week, President Obama reached out to meet with our current Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Meanwhile, our American bishops and cardinals continue to criticize President Obama about his position on issues that have no relevance to these unmarried men of the church.  They're putting an unnecessary negative spin on President Obama's Papal visit by criticizing the Affordable Care Act's inclusion of contraception coverage in the plans sold through health insurance exchanges.

Our American bishops should be applauding President Obama's outreach to the poor and his belief in trying to end income inequality. Instead, the church hierarchy has ignored those empty pews in their churches for the sake of continuing to harass women about contraception. Moreover, the bishops and cardinals are very intelligent men, surely they know how this war against the access and use of contraception has moved beyond them.  Catholic women use contraception and that's all there is to it. I'm frankly embarrassed when Timothy Cardinal Dolan talks to the Today Show Matt Lauer to say how important it is to protect religious liberty, which is now a euphemism for "prevent women from having access to contraception".

Dear Cardinal Dolan, your own mother likely used contraception in one way or another.

Apparently, Pope Francis and President Obama spoke for about an hour, much longer than anticipated. I simply can't believe the Pope wasted his precious time talking about contraception. Moreover, I don't believe President Obama would've spent an hour of his tightly budgeted time talking to the Pope about an issue like contraception, where he and the Pope were  bound to disagree. 

These two high profile world leaders, the Pope being a moral leader while President Obama being a world leader, are not about to waste one another's time. They talked for an hour because they agree on social issues impacting millions of the people of the world. 

I sincerely hope they spoke about the tragedy of the millions of refugees in Syria.

Thank you President Obama for meeting with Pope Francis.
Likewise, thank you Pope Francis for meeting with President Obama.

As for Timothy Cardinal Dolan, he should humble himself to meet with President Obama to discuss how to solve pressing social issues, rather than pretend he's a US pontiff who only cares about preventing women from having access to contraception. 

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