The following comes from a September 23 Catholic News Agency article by Matt Hadro:
Pope Francis paid a short visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor community in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to support them in their court case over the contraception mandate, the Vatican’s spokesman revealed.
It was a “short visit that was not in the program,” Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said at an evening press conference during the papal visit to the nation’s capital.
“This is a sign, obviously, of support for them” in their court case, he affirmed.
The sisters had filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration for its 2012 mandate that employers provide insurance coverage for birth control, sterilizations, and drugs that can cause abortions employee health plans. The sisters have maintained that to provide this coverage would violate their religious beliefs.
Even after the Obama administration modified the rules as an “accommodation” for objecting organizations, the sisters held that even under the revised rules they would have to violate their consciences.
The majority of a three-judge panel for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that the Little Sisters of the Poor did not establish that the mandate was a “substantial burden” on their free exercise of religion, and thus ruled they still had to abide by the mandate.
He added that the visit “is connected” to “the words that the Pope has said in support of the position of the bishops of the United States in the speech to President Obama and also in the speech to the bishops.”
Pope Francis, with President Obama at the White House, called religious freedom “one of America’s most precious possessions” and had hearkened to the U.S. bishops’ defense of religious freedom. “All are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it,” he had said.
I’ll give him kudos for going. Now, if timing is everything, he should have gone publicly, and BEFORE meeting Obama, who is persecuting these Catholic women. Will take the crumbs…
Very sweet of the Pope to say hello to the Little Sisters of the Poor—but far more important that he would have boldly confronted Obama and Congress.
Another example of why I think so highly of Pope Francis and pray for him daily: lunch with the homeless instead of with the Washington power brokers and visiting with the Sisters of the Poor. God Bless him!
Great photo op for all his fans. I’m sure Cd Daneels is most proud of his protégée! Gee, I wonder if it’ll have an affect on obama’s war on the Catholic Church or the thousands of Christians being tortured and slaughtered in the Middle East? Muslims can come here by the millions ( they throw the Christians out of the immigrAnt camps in Europe) but Christians are being rejected. I’m soooo glad this fellow so vociferously defended the faith and shared Jesus Christ and the beauty of our Church! What’s that you say? Oh! Well, I’m sure he was thinking of them!
Even THIS nice article gets The Usual Suspects dumping their venom on the Vicar of Christ.
You folks are going to be mightily surprised when you reach heaven and find a whole bunch of people you never would have invited!!
Venom?? Look at the comments, “give him kudos”, “very sweet of the pope”, “pray for him daily” – Anonymous, this is hardly venomous, just folks pointing out additional aspects of the story.
Thankfully it is not my job to “invite” people to heaven, but to accept the invitation myself and encourage others to do the same.
Pope Francis had a good sense of tokenism.