Obama and Benedict held private talks for about 40 minutes in the pope’s frescoed study in the Vatican’s apostolic palace and the Vatican said bioethics and life issues were a central part of the discussion.
In a surprise move, the pontiff gave Obama a booklet explaining Vatican opposition to practices such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research, which Obama supports….
“Dignitas Personae” (dignity of a person) condemns artificial fertilization and other techniques used by many couples and also says human cloning, “designer babies” and embryonic stem-cell research are immoral.
The document defends life from conception to natural death and a Vatican statement issued after the meeting said the topics discussed included “the defense and promotion of life and the right to abide by one’s conscience.”
The pope’s private secretary told reporters after the meeting: “This reading can help the president better understand the Church’s position on these issues.”
The pope also gave the president a copy of his latest encyclical, “Charity in Truth,” which called for a “world political authority” to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat.
Obama, who was going to the airport from the Vatican, joked to the pope when he gave him the two documents: “I’ll have something to read on the plane.”
This should be a great relief to Obama. Now he will know what GOD wants him to do.
Modern church high-level philosophy/science debate:
“The glass is half-full.”
“I say half-empty.”