President Obama and Pope Francis are two of the most despised men today. Francis has even been called the Catholic Church’s Obama. Many have said the Francis is experiencing a popularity surge just as Obama did in 2008, and they expect him to become a big disappointment to Catholics just as they feel Obama is to Americans. These two prominent leaders plan to meet for the first time on March 27.
The White House announced on Tuesday that Obama and Francis will meet at the Vatican during a European trip the president will take in March. The President of the free world looks forward to discussion with the leader of the Roman Catholic Church their shared dedication against growing inequality and poverty.
Obama’s trip will begin in the Netherlands on March 24. There he will attend the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit and meet with Dutch officials. Next he will be in Belgium for a summit with the European Council and Commission. Obama also has plans to meet with Italy’s President and Prime Minister in Rome.
Obama’s presidency is not void of some high-profile clashes with the Catholic Church, but Francis’ approach to world economic issues are viewed as more in line with Obama than that of Benedict, his predecessor.
Obama has called Francis an “extraordinarily thoughtful and soulful messenger of justice and peace.” At the time he made that statement about the pontiff he had yet to meet Francis but said everything he had read and seen from the Pope indicated that he is constantly trying to remind the world of those core obligations.
Since March 2013 when Pope Francis became the newest pontiff he has had a great deal to say. His words are literally refashioning the Catholic Church to become more liberal as opposed to what has primarily been a right-wing dominated institution.
Francis is quite different from his predecessors. He is the voice of reason that the world needs to hear in the midst of so much chaos otherwise. Francis is not a total liberal but he definitely holds many views that oppose conservative policies. Many of the conservative policies come across as prejudice in nature and appear to be anti most things, while Francis is just the opposite.
Francis does not fit the conservative mode that was set before him and as a result is not favored by many of them. He’s very compassionate and inclusive in his dealings; he has been a peaceful force that the world has long-awaited.
From President Obama’s first days he proposed policies to help working and middle class, he has been an advocate for workers’ right, women’s right and even gay marriage. He has supported some great policies even though conservatives could never admit it. At every opportunity conservatives have blocked the work of Congress and attempted to derail a number of policies Obama proposed.
Many people have “prophesied” about the destruction of America and have called Obama the antichrist. With all Francis has attempted to do to promote unity in the world he has also been deemed the antichrist.
Francis said that the Church needs to stop being so obsessed with gay marriage and abortion. He said instead of trying to simply convert people, “…we need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us.”
It has been said that Francis, much like Obama, is unable to see the real issues that are endangering his people. Obama and Francis have both been accused of making the mistake of confusing the faithful for the enemy, condescension for respect, the enemy for a friend, capitalism for tyranny and socialism for justice.
President Obama has been known to quote Pope Francis and render his praises. He makes is very clear that he sees the pontiff as a potentially useful ally in closing the gap between the rich and poor. There are many things these two men have in common, one being that they are men conservatives love to hate. The two will finally meet for the first time on March 27 at the Vatican.
If conservatives learn nothing else from these leaders, these men are showing the world the importance of agreeing to disagree while benefiting from connecting with people who are different. God bless Pope Francis, President Obama and these United States of America.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)