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« Matters of Faith | Main | And They Wanted Him Dead »

May 20, 2009

Obama knows Catholics better than Catholics do!

When listening to the president's commencement speech before the graduating class of 2009 at Notre Dame, I didn't feel particularly offended. I don't expect much from liberals when it comes to "finding common ground," so as long as he didn't demonize Catholicism I wasn't going to lose much heart. 

That is, until I read George Weigel's recent posting on National Review Online. He lays out an interesting argument that the president decided to tell America what Catholicism is all about. He didn't stop at defining Catholicism. He seemingly went so far as to partition Catholics into two groups:  ObamaCatholics and "the others." ObamaCatholics are gentle, peaceful, unifying, and willing to accept liberal nonsense. 

Here is an excerpt from Weigel's argument:

What was surprising, and ought to be disturbing to anyone who cares about religious freedom in these United States, was the president’s decision to insert himself into the ongoing Catholic debate over the boundaries of Catholic identity and the applicability of settled Catholic conviction in the public square. Obama did this by suggesting, not altogether subtly, who the real Catholics in America are. The real Catholics, you see, are those like the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who are “congenial and gentle” in persuasion, men and women who are “always trying to bring people together,” Catholics who are “always trying to find the common ground.” The fact that Cardinal Bernardin’s undoubted geniality and gentility in bringing people together to find the common ground invariably ended with a “consensus” that matched the liberal or progressive position of the moment went unremarked — because, for a good postmodern liberal like President Obama, that progressive “consensus” is so self-evidently true that one can afford to be generous in acknowledging that others, less enlightened but arguably sincere, have different views.

Whether Catholic or not, it's a scary idea to think that the leader of the political world is now telling one of the largest religious forces in the world what they believe and how they should believe it.

Obama, in part, called Catholics to be more like Pope John Paul II, but if they were, then President Obama would be in for a hard lesson. Pope John Paul II encompassed what it means to be Catholic. He was peaceful, loving, and kind, just as Obama called Catholics to be. But do not forget that Pope John Paul II had an uncanny ability to "take no prisoners" when it came to identifying the truth. 

With regard to abortion, for instance, Pope John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) a message to women who have had abortions:

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child.

The eloquence of one of the greatest religious leaders in modern times is exemplified in his ability to both love the person and unquestionably condemn his or her sin. He brought peace and love to a world plagued by the transgressions he despised. 

If President Obama is asking Catholics to be loving, peaceful, and caring like Pope John Paul II, he had better also be prepared for the condemnation of those very things he loves the most: pride and empty rhetoric.

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Comments

vikingmother

What's the "truth" that trumps it all?

The harsh reality is---what many of us are experiencing---today. A one party Federal government that feels LITTLE accountability for its actions.

(I live near Chicago...This is all---so far---FAMILIAR! Rarely do Chicago politicians get held to strong accountability...they mostly will get voted back in---no matter what. And they do not need a George Soros or major press support to do so!)

so far, Mr. Obama can say fine words...and noone will hold him to any accountability...

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