An unintentional subtext to President Obama’s welcoming remarks to Pope Francis

By Dave Andrusko

Pope Francis and President Barack Obama

Pope Francis and President Barack Obama

Tomorrow Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress. But for simplicity and clarity of purpose, today–his first day in our nation’s capital–would be difficult to match. I am not Catholic but the enthusiasm and love and sheer joy of my Catholic friends lifts my spirits as well.

President Obama’s remarks welcoming Pope Francis to the White House were generous and clearly sincere. I am about to watch a replay of them, but in the interest of time here are a few comments, based on his prepared remarks that will form the basis of the last NRL News Today post for the day.

Here is the operative paragraphs:

You call on all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to put the “least of these” at the center of our concern. You remind us that in the eyes of God our measure as individuals, and as societies, is not determined by wealth or power or station or celebrity, but by how well we hew to Scripture’s call to lift up the poor and the marginalized, to stand up for justice and against inequality, and to ensure that every human being is able to live in dignity – because we are all made in the image of God.

You remind us that “the Lord’s most powerful message” is mercy. That means welcoming the stranger with empathy and a truly open heart – from the refugee who flees war torn lands, to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life. It means showing compassion and love for the marginalized and the outcast, those who have suffered, and those who seek redemption.

You remind us of the costs of war, particularly on the powerless and defenseless, and urge us toward the imperative of peace.

The President’s embrace of abortion without end and without limit is so all-consuming that it is highly unlikely it would cross his mind that the unborn child fits almost all of these categories.

She is the “least of these,” for whom “justice” that is meted out too often takes the form of a brutal death. She has no power, and cannot live in dignity if she is not allowed to live at all.

Why should the unborn child be protected? To quote the President, “because we are all made in the image of God.”

And because mercy demands that we stand up for her, the most powerless and defenseless among us.

And because the war against the unborn has already taken over 57 million lives in the United States alone.

Nowhere is the imperative of peace more required than in rejecting the violence of abortion and lovingly embracing the littlest American.