Pope Francis Raises Abortion, Religious Liberty in Candid Meeting with Obama
By Boaz Wadel
In their first face-to-face meeting, Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church's concerns with President Barack Obama's policies on abortion, conscience rights, and freedom of religion.
A source familiar with the talks told LifeSiteNews that the Vatican press release on the meeting was "remarkably forthright" in emphasizing the fact that the pope raised these issues with the president.
According to the press release, the pope launched a discussion with the American president about the proper role of church and state, raising "questions of particular relevance for the [Catholic] Church in that country." These included "the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life, and conscientious objection," according to the Vatican.
The 52-minute-long meeting marked Obama's first audience with Pope Francis. The divide between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church has deepened since his meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, with broiling arguments over the president's promotion of abortion-on-demand, same-sex "marriage," and the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate.
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