Catholic World News

President Obama cites 'terrible deeds' of Christian history in address to National Prayer Breakfast

February 05, 2015

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, President Barack Obama lamented that through history “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”

Insisting that Christians should not “get on our high horse” to criticize offenses committed by other faiths, the President cited the Crusades and the Inquisition among the abuses of Christianity. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ,” he added.

The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual Washington event that draws hundreds of elected officials and other political figures.

Pope Francis sent a message of greeting to the event, asking participants to “join me in praying for our brothers and sisters throughout the world who experience persecution and death for their faith.”


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  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Feb. 05, 2015 10:24 PM ET USA

    His problem is not a lack of knowledge of what happened,but rather that he has a blatant anti Judeo-Christian bias and agenda.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Feb. 05, 2015 8:21 PM ET USA

    This sounds like the clap trap in John Hagee's book, "Four Blood Moons" where he excoriates the evil "Historical Church" (aka Catholic Church) for the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. I highly recommend the book, "Why Apologize for the Spanish Inquisition?" by Very Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Maria Duran, M.J. and Rev. Fr. Paul Mary Vota, M.J. It's time to put the myths of the Spanish Inquisition to bed. Catholics need to get educated on this.

  • Posted by: filioque - Feb. 05, 2015 7:03 PM ET USA

    Did the President mention the unmatched and overwhelming record of Christianity in caring for the poor and the sick, education, agriculture, pacification, science, literature, music, and the arts? No? I didn't think so.

  • Posted by: filioque - Feb. 05, 2015 6:58 PM ET USA

    The Crusades were a long-overdue response to the the Muslims' abuse of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land and their aggression against Christian lands. While the Spanish Inquisition, an institution of the Crown, not the Church, did commit some excesses and was reprimanded by several popes, it also developed rules for evidence and the protection of witnesses that became the foundation of modern procedures.. It was directed against those who falsely claimed to have become Christians.

  • Posted by: mhains8491 - Feb. 05, 2015 6:38 PM ET USA

    Breathtaking double standard by a President who supports abortion on demand, for any reason at any time. Many millions are killed by abortion each year across the globe. He does not to read up on what really happened during the Crusades and Inquisition, rather than resorting to "pop culture" history of those events. He seems more interested in silencing Christians, even when they are the victims of Militant Islam.

  • Posted by: mario.f.leblanc5598 - Feb. 05, 2015 5:45 PM ET USA

    The many abortions performed in predominantly Christian countries may someday be regarded as terrible deeds too. And we can rest assured that the terrible deeds of the past also had their opponents in those days, but the majority found it convenient to let things happen.