Pope discusses bioethics, G-8 summit with President Obama at Vatican

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Church’s position on bioethical issues got marked attention during Pope Benedict XVI’s meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama July 10.

In addition to giving Obama a copy of his latest encyclical, which the pope had been presenting to visiting heads of state since its release July 7, the pope also presented a copy of the Vatican document on biomedical ethics, “Dignitas Personae” (“The Dignity of a Person”).

When presenting the gifts after their 35-minute closed-door meeting, the pope gave Obama a signed, white leather-bound copy of the encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”), then indicated the light-green soft-cover instruction on bioethics issued last December by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“Oh, what we discussed earlier,” said Obama, referring to their closed-door discussions. “I will have some reading to do on the plane.”

Obama was given the instruction to help him better understand the Church’s position on bioethics, Msgr. Georg Ganswein, papal secretary, told journalists in the pool covering the visit.

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