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Quick hits: more thoughts on the Pope-Biden meeting

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Nov 03, 2021 | In Quick Hits

Two more quick thoughts on the Pope’s meeting with President Biden—following up on yesterday’s commentary:

  • My friend Robert Royal, writing for his Catholic Thing site, takes issue with the Vatican’s refusal to comment on Biden’s report about the meeting, on the grounds that his chat with the Pontiff was a “private conversation.” Royal remarks: “This already is close to an outright lie. The president of the United States of America, claiming to be a Catholic, at a time when he is pushing the most extreme measures on abortion and the funding thereof…” This was—and from the outset was intended to be—a very public event. And by the way Biden, who also described the session as a “private conversation,” was not thereby inhibited from giving the media his take on the exchange. A question to ponder: if you have a “private” conversation with someone, who then proceeds to tell the world about that conversation, is it still a private conversation? If his report is inaccurate, aren’t you obliged to correct the record? And if it’s accurate, in this case, God help us.
  • Another acute observer, Chris Altieri, observes for Catholic World Report that the meeting with Biden is only the latest in a long series of occasions on which Pope Francis has used ambiguity for his own purposes (whatever they may be):
    Whether Francis is personally plugging a book he hasn’t read (yet), or expecting the press to do his dirty work for him, or fudging on what he knew about a high-profile abuse case and when he knew it, or doubling down on incendiary remarks he made off the cuff, he is pretty consistently to be found playing the angles.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: padre3536 - Nov. 10, 2021 12:12 PM ET USA

    CCC CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SECOND EDITION 1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them: - by participating directly and voluntarily in them; - by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them; - by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so; - by protecting evil-doers. Scandal as well...

  • Posted by: miketimmer499385 - Nov. 03, 2021 10:50 AM ET USA

    The question to be answered remains, what form will the correction take and when? How long do the American Catholic bishops think their most faithful parishioners are going to stand by and be assumed to agree with the heterodoxy spouted by gravely sinful, scandalous politicians? I'm sorry, but my impression is that if falling numbers have little effect, perhaps dwindling dollars in the collection plate will. Steadily increasing pressure on finances will eventually have an effect for the better.