Wednesday, January 21, 2009
The Vatican (LifeNews.com) -- Pope Benedict XVI gently encouraged new pro-abortion President Barack Obama to foster a respect for human life as president. The Catholic leader sent a telegram to the new president that didn't engage in negative rebuking of Obama's pro-abortion views but graciously prompted him to promote life.
The Pope sent his best wishes to Obama with an "assurance of my prayers that Almighty God will grant you unfailing wisdom and strength in the exercise of your high responsibilities."
The Vatican released the text of the missive, which the pontiff personally signed to the new American leader.
"Under your leadership may the American people continue to find in their impressive religious and political heritage the spiritual values and ethical principles," he wrote.
Those values, Pope Benedict said, "cooperate in the building of a truly just and free society, marked by respect for the dignity, equality and rights of each of its members, especially ... those who have no voice."
The leader of the Catholic Church said he would pray that Obama remembered that "so many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world yearn for liberation from the scourge of ... violence."
He also hope Obama would unite nations to "share in the banquet of life which God wills to set for the whole human family."
The communication was the second time the Pope has asked Obama to respect human life and not expand abortion during his presidency.
Pope Benedict XVI released his annual peace message in early December and it touched on a number of political subjects but also went after population control campaigns. He criticized efforts that rely on abortion or try to use reducing the birth rate as a method of economic development.
The Catholic leader's words came at a time when pro-life advocates were worried that incoming president Barack Obama will restore funding to the UNFPA and groups that promote and perform abortions in other countries.
Obama is expected to follow through on the latter, revoking the Mexico City Policy, later this week.