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White House courts Catholics before Obama's meeting with Pope

Catholic World News - July 06, 2009

In the final days before a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and President Barack Obama, the White House has launched what journalist John Allen describes as a "charm offensive" in Rome, which is having noticeable effects. A senior cardinal and longtime papal theologian has written sympathetically (but not accurately) about Obama's approach to issues involving the dignity of human life. Other Vatican officials have suggested that they are open to Obama's appeals, but recognize the clear conflicts that are likely to persist. In Washington, President Obama's session with selected Catholic journalists produced some sympathetic stories as well as some fresh criticism. The editor of Commonweal magazine scolded conservatives for their reflexive criticism, and singled out one editor who came to the White House meeting unprepared. An analysis for America magazine was not quite so sympathetic, giving the presidential performance a grade of B.

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