Pope tries to school Obama on abortion

The two meet for the first time in Vatican City and get straight to business


Tracy Clark-Flory
July 11, 2009 1:11AM (UTC)

President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict met for the first time today and retreated for 40 minutes behind closed doors in the Vatican. Wasting little time with pleasantries about the weather or other benign topics, they got straight to business and talked about two matters they fundamentally disagree on: abortion and stem cell research. But, according to official reports from both sides, things were exceedingly diplomatic.

Obama tactfully promised to "do everything possible to reduce the number of abortions in the United States," Reuters paraphrases. Of course, it's the subtext here that's important: His route to reducing abortion isn't to make it illegal but to prevent unplanned pregnancies ... through birth control ... which the Vatican opposes. The Pope was a bit bolder and, to the surprise of exactly no one, attempted to enlighten Obama with some weighty reading materials: He handed the president a copy of "Dignitas Personae," a booklet that rails against abortion, "condemns artificial fertilization and other techniques used by many couples and also says human cloning, 'designer babies' and embryonic stem-cell research are immoral."

Advertisement:

Obama's response to receiving the document was priceless: "I'll have something to read on the plane" -- along with the latest issue of Us Weekly, of course.


Tracy Clark-Flory

MORE FROM Tracy Clark-FloryFOLLOW TracyClarkFloryLIKE Tracy Clark-Flory

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••





Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •