The Pope And Pelosi
Religion, Meet Politics
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has a great update on what we know of the meeting between Speaker Pelosi, who is Catholic, and Pope Benedict XVI.
The Vatican has released a statement after meeting with Nancy Pelosi, apparently mindful of the controversy created by giving an audience to a pro-choice American politician. Before Pelosi has a chance to characterize the discussion, Benedict apparently wants everyone to know that he saw this as a teaching moment (via The Corner):
Already, it is interesting that Pelosi’s office has issued only the most cursory, perfunctory and gereric notes of the meeting. From the Vatican’s statement:
His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church’s consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in cooperation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.
(… emphasis in the original). Reading as much as you can on this meeting is almost mandatory, because what you will see if you glance at headlines is spin.
Once of the best places to get a non-spin perspective is from The Anchoress.
The Vatican – clearly as aware as Pelosi of the power of an image – made a point of releasing no photo, as “the encounter was private” and the pope “briefly greeted” Pelosi and did not mention any other subject they may have discussed.
She too notes that Pelosi’s office was non-specific.
Pelosi’s camp later released a statement of its own, with no mention of the pope’s remarks:In an e-mail issued by her office, Pelosi did not mention the allusion to abortion. She said it was with “great joy” that she and her husband, Paul, met with Benedict.
“In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church’s leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father’s dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel,” she said.
Why the quiet tone from the Congressman? I think that (as usual) The Anchoress has it right.
If anyone was expecting any sort of insta-conversion on Pelosi’s part, that was a foolish wish. Tough and proud, there was no way the Speaker was ever going to walk out and proclaim her views “changed” on anything. But to me, it is telling that Pelosi did not even acknowledge the pope’s remarks on the sanctity of life – it suggests that his words hit their mark, and that the loving wound of instruction is too tender for her to touch.
The things that singe our consciences are the things we try to dance around, or ignore outright.
Indeed. I don’t think that the Speaker will do anything to act on her newly given instruction. But perhaps she will act less in contradiction to it.