Saturday, September 19, 2015

Obama's Disrespectful Reception for Pope Francis

I prayed a rosary today for Pope Francis's visit to the United States. I trust that he can hold his own, or rather, God can hold him in the palm of his hand without my help.  But, I am troubled by the reception President Obama has prepared for him at the White House on September 23. 

Disrespect to the Vicar of Christ is a slight to many--from Christ, to the Pope, to all  faithful Catholics. Perhaps the president only hopes to straighten out our pope, which itself would be flippant.  At any rate, some serious effort went into collecting people radically opposed to Catholic teaching for an in-your-face meet and greet at the White House on Wednesday. 
Here are some of the people on the guest list:
Mateo Wilson, a transgendered woman who identifies herself as a gay man now.
Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, (divorced his wife of 14 years, married his homosexual lover in 2003 and divorced him last year).
Sister Simone Campbell, a pro-abortion nun. She is the executive director of the liberal social justice lobby NETWORK and led the “Nuns on the Bus” campaign, actively opposing the U.S. Bishops' fight against the HHS mandate in Obamacare because of their abortion and conscience concerns.  Catholic League president, Bill Donohue said of the invite: “We doubt an invitation is on the way to the Little Sisters of the Poor, the nuns being targeted by the administration for remaining true to their Catholic faith and refusing to comply with the pro-abortion mandate...”
Vivian Taylor is also invited, although I’m seriously not sure which pronoun to use. Taylor is a male transvestite and former Executive Director of Integrity USA, a homosexual and transgender activist wing of the Episcopal Church.  Taylor told CNS News, “I was told I could bring several friends with me,” adding that he is “glad we can bring some LGBT representation to the event.”  There are various Other LGBT activists on the list, but you get the idea.

Vatican Response

The Vatican expressed concern after catching learning of the situation. They expressed concern that photos with the pope and these guests will be used to give the impression that he approves of their behavior.
Though Pope Francis has shown love and mercy to all, he has said that gay marriage is the devil’s “attempt to destroy God’s plan.”  He has also made it clear that transgenderism is against God’s creation. Earlier this month, the Vatican ruled that transgendered people cannot  carry out the responsibility of Godparents. The Vatican Doctrinal Congregation stated “transsexual behavior publicly reveals an attitude contrary to the moral imperative of resolving the problem of one’s sexual identity according to the truth of one’s sexuality.”
Naturally, the liberal camp is frothing with excitement over what they perceive as a coup against the stodgy fortress of Catholic morality.  And the Vatican push back has been reported with contempt saying, "the Vatican is freaking out."   Their liberal perception is that the controversial guest list is simply a selection of several progressive religious leaders. The left believe that this is their time to force open church doors and let the gale winds of liberalism rush in.   Also, another factor likely at play here is the belief by many that Pope Francis is sympathetic to the liberal causes and it’s just the old conservatives around him behind the resistance.
Pope Francis certainly recognizes the attempt to be used as a pawn in the liberal agenda. White House officials said they hope for discussion on areas the Church and the president disagree on such as gay marriage or government funding for abortion. No problem there. That is a good thing--let them talk it out.
However, it is impolite for the pope's first visit the United States to have our president intentionally selects guests meant to cause controversy.  There will be thousands at the White House for the reception so bringing in people that oppose Catholic teaching is not earthshattering.   After all, we all fall short in one way or another.  And each guest is a child of God.
Yet, imagine if President Obama visited a country in which the head of state intentionally invited a leader of a racist hate group. Or if a Muslim leader was invited to the White House and Jewish leaders were brought in just to say hi. A direct comparison, was shared on my Facebook page: "Imagine Obama hosting a dinner at the White House for a high level Muslim Imam and inviting these same people? He would never contemplate such a move for fear of offending Islam. Yet he brazenly does so for Pope Francis's visit. It is the height of disrespect for the Catholic Church, the Pope and believing Christians all over the world."
Pope Francis is the successor to Peter, the Rock upon which Christ built his Church.  God has chosen him for such a time as this and for such a journey this week to the United States.  God is in charge and Pope Francis will do fine.  But still, I’m adding my rosaries.

Pope Francis watchers are advised to stay close to good Catholic sources for accurate reporting. The EWTN team will be reporting on the Pope’s entire visit here.  Teresa Tomeo’s  Catholic Connection radio program will be live from the WMOF, Monday through Friday and Al Kresta will offer insights and commentaries from key participant on Kresta in the Afternoon.

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