Thursday, 21 May 2009

Criticism of L'Osservatore Romano builds

L'Osservatore Romano recently published an article which was astonishingly favourable to President Obama. The other day, the Editor, Gian Maria Vian gave an interview to Paolo Rodari of Palazzo Apostolico, justifying the article. Catholic News Agency has a report in English. Vian astonishingly says that Obama "is not a pro-abortion president."

Concerning the commencement address, he says:
“His speech at Notre Dame has been respectful toward every position. He tried to engage the debate stepping out from every ideological position and outside every ‘confrontational mentality.’ To this extent his speech is to be appreciated.”
Vian plays down the opposition of "a few bishops", simple faithful and pro-lifers, presenting them as though they were one of two sides in a debate which is observed impartialy by L'Osservatore Romano.

Here are links to further comment:

Fr Z: Rodari interviews Vian on what he is up to with L’Osservatore Romano

LifeSite News: Vatican Attempting to Build Diplomatic Bridges with Obama Coverage in L'Osservatore Romano: Rome HLI Leader

Fr Z suggests that the reason for the approach of L'Osservatore and its positive approach to seeking "common ground" is pressure from the Secretariat of State in view of the forthcoming visit of Obama to Rome in July.

The LifeSite News report quotes Mgr Barreiro who urges a realistic approach:
"Someone has to ask the question of whether we [as pro-life persons] can speak of a 'common ground' with those who believe that killing a baby in the womb is a right of women? That no authority, no human authority, can force a woman to respect the life of a child? From a logical perspective I cannot see how we can speak of a common ground."
He accepts the importance of dialogue in order to slow the advance of Obama's anti-life policies but points out that our ability to negotiate depends on the commitment of Catholics who are ready to defend life.

The L'Osservatore article makes the mistake often made by ecclesiastics in recent times of thinking that a good way of negotiating with politicians is to cosy up to them and play down our distinctive position in the hope that they will be nice to us and make concessions. It doesn't work.
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