Spokesman: Pope wants honest dialogue with Obama on life issues
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Benedict XVI gave President Barack Obama a Vatican document on bioethics, he was trying to be clear with him about Church teaching and open a path to further dialogue, the Vatican spokesman said.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, told reporters after the meeting between the pope and the president that, in giving Obama the document July 10, “the intention was not be to divisive or political, but for clarity and objectivity; to say that, for us, this is extremely important.”
Pope Benedict gave Obama the document “Dignitas Personae” (“The Dignity of a Person”), which was published in December by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In discussing issues such as abortion, artificial fertilization and stem-cell research, the document started with two fundamental Church teachings: that the human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception and that responsible human procreation occurs in an act of love between a man and a woman in marriage.
“There was no intention to be polemical,” Father Lombardi said. “I do not agree with the idea that the pope was trying to point out their differences.”
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