Vatican Newspaper Criticized for Downplaying Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 20, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Vatican Newspaper Criticized for Downplaying Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 20
, 2009

The Vatican ( — The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano is drawing criticism from pro-life advocates for recent articles praising pro-abortion President Barack Obama. The paper wrote a glowing article of President Obama’s first 100 days in office that claimed he has made no radical changes.

"Obama does not seem to have confirmed the radical innovations that he had discussed," the newspaper claimed.

Such an assessment, says critics such as American Catholic writer Deal Hudson, ignores Obama’s extensive pro-abortion record.

"There was no mention of the rescinding of the Mexico City Policy, the ending of conscience protection for medical care workers, of increased funding for abortion providers, of pro-abortion appointments to key administration positions like the head of Health and Human Services," Hudson says in response.

"Most importantly, [there was] no mention of the widely-recognized White House strategy of approximating the effect of FOCA in a piecemeal fashion," Hudson added.

"It has become apparent that the paper needs a new editor," Hudson said.

A second L’Osservatore Romano article praised Obama’s speech at Notre Dame where he said he wanted to seek "common ground" on abortion.

"The search for common ground seems to be the road chosen by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to confront the sensitive abortion issue," L’Osservatore Romano wrote.

Nowhere in the article was there any mention of the 79 U.S. bishops who openly criticized Notre Dame for giving Obama an honorary degree at its recent commencement. One of those bishops was the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal George of Chicago.

Hudson criticized L’Osservatore Romano for saying that the pro-life protests at Notre Dame were "completely predictable."

"Completely predictable? Why? Perhaps, because President Obama is the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States and some Catholics found it offensive he was being honored by the best-known, best-loved Catholic University in the nation, and perhaps the world?" Hudson asked.

That the Vatican newspaper is not chronicling Obama’s pro-abortion record is causing problems, Hudson says, because the mainstream media is picking up on it and claiming it represents the views of the Catholic Church or Pope Benedict XVI.

"The damage will be done by the Associated Press story being published around the country giving the impression that the Vatican officially approves of both Notre Dame’s decision and, most tragically, Obama’s position on abortion," he said.

L’Osservatore Romano’s editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, became the head of the publication in September 2007. Previously, he was professor of the philology of ancient Christian literature at Rome’s La Sapienza University and a regular writer for the newspaper of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

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