U.S. & World

Obama, Pope Francis give distinctly different accounts of meeting Thursday


Return To Article
  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    April 3, 2014 11:19 p.m.

    @Truthseeker (Go Figure) Cardinal Burke lives in The Vatican. Which is considered an actual country although it is in fact located in Italy.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    April 3, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    @Tators...Excellent point Sir. Personally I could not agree any stronger. Thank you for practicing birth control.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 29, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    I would note also:

    Cardinal Burke lives in a country--Italy-- which allows women to obtain abortions in state hospitals or private institutions for free.

    Perhaps we could learn from Cardinal Burke and Italy: lets move toward single-payer and then my employer doesn't get q vote on what services I access.

  • Badger55 Nibley, Ut
    March 29, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Gary O,
    I do not know Christ like you claim to, but my opinion is that he was niether liberal nor conservative. Christ was much more and no one was like him before or after...One thing to think about, would Christ approve of his GOD being taken out of schools, government or anything else in this world. I highly doubt it. Neither liberal or conservative is perfect, therefore Christ was neither...

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    @Chris B...Really? Again? Another post without actual fact and this one has nothing to do with interstate intercollegiate athletic rivalries. Pope Francis is most certainly not a conservative solely based on the notion that he is against SSM which in fact he is not. (Please note his last several addresses when he clearly spoke of St. Paul and his readings.) I'm most certain you are aware that St. Paul is considered a highly recognized scholar in the Catholic Church because you most definitely would not post prior to investigating.

  • donn layton, UT
    March 29, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    @Happy Valley Heretic???

    The Corner. By Josh Encinias. March 24, 2014 4:22 PM *Chief justice at the Vatican Cardinal Raymond Burke called president Obama’s policies “anti-life” and “anti-family” in an interview with Polonia Christiana magazine, transcribed by Life Site News. “It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies,” said Cardinal Burke.

    The blaze. By Billy Hallowell Mar. 24, 2014 3:30pm . Prominent U.S. Catholic Cardinal Blasts Obama as a totally Secularized Man’ Who Is ‘Hostile toward Christian Civilization’. . U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke, overseer of the *Vatican’s highest court, recently accused President Barack Obama of impeding Christians’ religious liberties, charging that he “promotes anti-life and anti-family policies

    He is the current Cardinal Prefect of the *Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. “Catholic Answers”.

    RE Truthseeker. True, He, called for withholding communion for Democratic leaders(pro death stance )on abortion

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:50 p.m.

    If there are two different reports of how the meeting went, I am going to trust the report given by the Pope. We already know that Obama is willing to lie to get what he wants.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 28, 2014 7:06 p.m.

    'Obama, Pope Franci's give distinctly different accounts of meeting Thursday.

    Well yes, different accounts but not opposing accounts.

    And what is significant about that besides nothing?

    They're not joined at the hip, and they can both frame their own descriptions.

    The Pope offered more of a religious perspective. And Obama offered a more secular description.

    Wow! I'm stunned!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 28, 2014 7:05 p.m.


    Cardinal Burke's comments came BEFORE Pres Obama's meeting with Pope Francis. Cardinal Burke was not in the meetings involving Pres Obama, so it is misleading to suggest he was representing what transpired in the meetings.

    And as HVH pointed out, Cardinal Burke was demoted from the Congregation of Bishops, though he retains his position in the Catholic judiciary. He is not without controversy, having called for witholding communion for Democratic leaders.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 28, 2014 7:00 p.m.

    SCfan -

    Socialism? I'm not all that interested in isms.

    I want good governance. And so did the Founders. That's why they gave us a government capable of solving problems.

    I want a government that provides for and promotes the general welfare and guarantees the blessing of Liberty to ourselves and out posterity.

    You may call that "Socialism," if you want. Have at it.

    I definitely do not want a bunch of confused ideologues in positions of power who insist that government is inherently evil.

    That kind of leadership will eventually nullify everything the Founders did for us.

    What the Right Wing masses can't understand is that they are being exploited and manipulated to further enrich the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, including their own families.

    There is nothing noble or even remotely reasonable in that.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 28, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    @Chris B
    I find it interesting that you claim to "stand with him (the pope)" on these issues when he has clearly stated on several occasions that these "matters" (divisive social issue), should not be the focus of the catholic church. The article reports what hi staff focused on and what they felt was the focus of the meetings, I would be curious to know what the actual Pope felt the focus was because I am willing to bet it was likely poverty and the great disparity in wealth in the world, do you also support his view on the actual issue that he has spent most of his time focused on?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 28, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    Truthseeker got his info from --Vatican Press Office:

    @donn are you being intentionally misleading? The "former" archbishop of St. Louis: Cardinal Raymond Burke.

    Pope Francis’ decision to remove a conservative American cardinal from the congregation that helps choose bishops. The New York Times said that the pope “moved … against” Cardinal Raymond Burke by not reappointing him to the Congregation of Bishops.

    He was fired in december, so this has nothing to do with this visit.

  • donn layton, UT
    March 28, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    RE: Truthseeker,Here is another earlier statement from the Vatican:

    VATICAN CITY (CBS St. Louis)— The Vatican’s chief justice feels that President Barack Obama’s policies have been hostile toward Christians.

    In an interview with Polonia Christiana magazine –and transcribed by Life Site News — Cardinal Raymond Burke said that Obama “promotes anti-life and anti-family policies.”

    “It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies,” Burke told the magazine.
    The former archbishop of St. Louis stated that Obama is trying to “restrict” religion.

    “Now he wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship, that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions,” Burke said.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 28, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    Here is the direct statement from the Vatican Press Office:

    "This morning, 27 March 2014, the Hon. Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America, was received in audience by His Holiness Pope Francis, after which he met with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.
    During the cordial meetings, views were exchanged on some current international themes and it was hoped that, in areas of conflict, there would be respect for humanitarian and international law and a negotiated solution between the parties involved.
    In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform. Finally, the common commitment to the eradication of trafficking of human persons in the world was stated."

    Obama met with other officials in addition to Pope Francis.

    Is it too much to hope that DN could simply report facts--such as providing the actual statements and let readers put whatever spin they prefer?

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    March 28, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    We have heard both speak. We have seen both act. We have had opportunity to compare the words with the acts.
    That they would "report out" differently is no surprise.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    to FT

    I'd let off on the Catholic Church; If they'd let Dan Brown & other Thriller authors into the Vatican Archives.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    When push comes to shove, both of these men are politicians. I'm sure their conversation covered a multitude of topics. When they came out of the meeting, each spoke concerning a subject for which he was an advocate. I think the truth lies with both of them . . . just not all of it with either.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    Gk Willington is absolutely right both goverment and the Catholic church have a long history of deception. It the Vatican over 500 years to admit their sins against Galieo.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    March 28, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    Re : BobK
    "Sorry to see the DN reach again into bending the truth in headlines seemingly meant to egg on the most conservative readers."

    You raise some exellent points.

    In contrast, this is the title of an article on the visit:

    "Pope and Obama discuss religious freedom, life issues, immigration "

    I would recommend reading the article from the Catholic News Service.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Big religion & Big government. Nothing to worry about here?

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    re: Tyler D

    [@bandersen – “If two people… both are pointing a loaded gun at each other, should anyone interfere?”

    I’ll respond as soon as I have my jaw rewired and floor replaced…]

    I got this one. Survivaal of the fittest, anyone? Oh, wait. Conservatives and evolution. What was I thinking?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    casual observer expressed my thoughts exactly. "This is a photo op for Mr. Obama and little else. For the Pope it is a duty to meet with world leaders."

    I will add that for Obama it was all about his (Obama's) image. For Pope Francis it is all about doing God's will and making the people He created better.

    I don't agree with everything either of them promotes, but I respect the one that tells the truth (Pope Francis), and I don't respect or believe the one who lies to promote himself all the time (Obama).

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 28, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    Both men chose to emphasize different aspects of the conversation.

    Where does that constitute a lie?

    Imagine that. People finding fault when Obama meets with the Pope. Shocking, I say. Shocking.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Obama and Pope Francis have different accounts of meeting. Wow one does not need a truth meter to know which account to believe.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    The Pope has absolutely No reason to lie. Obama does. Case closed.

    March 28, 2014 6:32 a.m.

    Interesting that so many commentators like to speak for Jesus, yet we have a prevalent attitude that revelation ceased with the apostles. You can't have it both ways, folks!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 28, 2014 6:27 a.m.

    It just seems to me that the media is trying to find conflict where there really isn't any. They are looking for a story line that isn't there. They are manufacturing an new "reality" of what really happened. We live in an age of yellow press.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    March 28, 2014 3:10 a.m.

    Sorry to see the DN reach again into bending the truth in headlines seemingly meant to egg on the most conservative readers.

    It is completely consistent with how the Vatican gives information that they included the President's talks with everyone there in one statement. Making a big deal that "O said this, Vatican said that" seems to me to be reaching.

    I always comment that a forum owned by the church of Jesus ought to pay particular attention to the truth, report plainly, and let the reader decide. I do not think that He would have wasted a moment of His time here in coloring stories to reflect poorly on those who He judged. (Oh, wait a minute, didn't He say something about not judging?)

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 10:26 p.m.

    Calm down everyone. This is a photo op for Mr. Obama and little else. For the Pope it is a duty to meet with world leaders. They are both well intentioned and have some good ideas while some ideas are less so.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 27, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    @Tators – “I'm not opposed to birth control... But forcing others to support it via including it in private employer mandated health insurance is an intrusion into religious freedoms.”

    Perhaps, but given the percentages I noted do you really believe it rises to the level of controversy? I think it’s more likely that this is driven by politics and not (so much) by religion.

    And I’ve seen studies going both ways on children of homosexuals so I don’t think your view is a slam dunk by any means. And given that we do not mandate mother & father families for all children (I would guess being raised by a single parent would have worse outcomes than two homosexual parents) this hardly seems like a justified reason to deny them basic rights.

    But kudos for at least making an argument based on real morals (well-being) instead of the debate stopper “my faith tells me it’s wrong.”

    @bandersen – “If two people… both are pointing a loaded gun at each other, should anyone interfere?”

    I’ll respond as soon as I have my jaw rewired and floor replaced…

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 27, 2014 8:29 p.m.

    In reality, Pope Frances espouses some left leaning and some right leaning ideas. A realistic assessment of his views would not put him in the conservative or the liberal camp.

    Whats wrong with that?

    He is very pro religion, (big surprise there) and very anti abortion. However he would certainly decry the disparity in wealth in America and across the world.

    Neither political side can claim that the Pope is "with them".

    On a side note, Pope Francis is a breath of fresh air when it comes to religious leaders. Going out incognito to personally tend to the poor is just the kind of thing that Jesus taught.

    I am very impressed with him. I hope he lives a long life and continues to set such a great example.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 27, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    Don't get too excited libs, the Pope is still clearly a crank who places the condemnation of birth control over the spreading of AIDS. Beware the prophets who use soothing words but are wolves in sheep's clothing. I doubt if Jesus would recognize any of the organization's who claim his name.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 27, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    Tyler D: If two people hate (or love)each other and both are pointing a loaded gun at each other, should anyone interfere? After all, its just between them right? No one else is hurt, right?

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    March 27, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic,

    Why are you associating Tator's comments with Obama being an Anti-Christ? He never wrote such a thing nor even insinuated as far as my reading of all the comments. Personally, I find his/her historical views more in line with reality than your own.

    Regarding Worf; It wasn't him who claimed that "if you like your insurance, you can keep it." and the associated statements that have proven to be lies. And so what if he mentioned two similar commandments. Not a big deal. His point is still valid.

    Claiming that conservatism is "angy, vengeful, insecure and racist" simply shows how judgmental you personally are. Judgmental people always lose much of any credibility they may've had with the rest of their statements. By so doing, you certainly lost any credibility with me and undoubtedly many other readers.

    You can do better than that. I would encourage you to at least try to be more open minded towards those who don't share your particular ideological views.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    March 27, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    @ Tyler D:

    I'm not opposed to birth control. My wife and I have used it a lot. But forcing others to support it via including it in private employer mandated health insurance is an intrusion into religious freedoms. As such (and it's hard to deny) it's currently a very controversial issue that the Supreme Court is just now taking up.

    Read my previous statement again. I never once stated that I'm personally opposed to birth control. And I don't believe anyone is being hurt by its use. My stance is that it's use is very personal. And as such, it should be paid for by whomever chooses to use it, and not forcibly by the public (via nationally mandated insurance), since many in the public are religiously opposed to it.
    I simply mentioned that the issue is still controversial in our country, and as such, its also contentious.

    My biggest negative regarding homosexual marriage is that it doesn't allow a normal child rearing atmosphere, where many social studies have proven being raised by a father and mother is normally the best environment for children, who then usually end up with fewer adult issues.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 27, 2014 12:03 p.m.


    Really! Obama is the "Antichrist"?

    @Tator. Your version of history is the conservative one, unfortunately it isn't based in reality anymore than "Obama is the Antichrist."

    worf said:
    Some things Obama can learn from the Pope:

    * thou shalt not lie
    * thou shalt not bear false witness

    Worf could learn from his own post...
    Really, those are the same thing, not 2 different commandments.
    So, are you lying to make your list seem longer?

    If Christ was a conservative, he would have taught judaism.

    God of the old Testament definitely conservative...Angry, vengeful, insecure (see the 1st 3 commandments) racist (see chosen people) and impatient for someone outside linear time.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    March 27, 2014 11:37 a.m.


    I certainly get a lot more news stories that the media is not covering by listening to Rush. As for Obama and the Pope, the only area these two seem to agree is in the unequal economics of the people in the world. I wonder if the Pope knows that both John and Matthew in the New Testament made statements that the poor will always be with us. That was the same as Jesus himself saying it. The only way an economy can work to make all people equal to some degree is to have government control a lot of it. We already have that in this country, particularly with Obama, giving all kinds of financial aid and such to Americans. The next step, socialism. You want that? If so just be honest and admit it.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    March 27, 2014 11:36 a.m.


    I've never once advocated myself as a follower of Rush Limbaugh. I am not. Apparently you follow him more than I do, since I hadn't yet heard the quote you claim he made. Nor is Rush recognized as being a universal spokesman for conservatism. He's not. He's actually an outer-fringe extremist... similar to Al Sharpton in the other ideologue direction.

    By trying to bring him into the argument, you are diluting your personal position and demonstrating it's stand-alone weakness.

    The Pope's "who am I to judge" comment should not be taken as any kind of endorsement of homosexual advocacy. It's not. The Catholic church spent much time, effort and funds in support of California's Proposition 8.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 27, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    @Tators – “… beliefs regarding birth control and homosexual marriage... two very controversial issues still causing contention in the U.S.”

    But why?

    I mean I sort of get it with respect to homosexual marriage because it’s new and people (conservatives especially) are usually frightened of change and often imagine the worse.

    But birth control… I don’t get this one at all. 99% of all Americans including 97% of Catholics have used birth control. Seems like the American people have spoken (by their actions) on this one and in terms of % of population, it is about as controversial as the “Elvis still lives” belief.

    But from a moral perspective (not to be confused with religious) neither issue seems very troubling.

    When two gay people get married or someone uses birth control, who is being harmed?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 27, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    Tators - The Pope is still regressive regarding birth control and abortion, but his comments regarding gays have distinguished him from other Popes.

    His "Who am I to judge" remark set a new standard there.

    Otherwise though, yeah the pope sounds just like a Communist (ie. Liberal in the minds of "Conservatives").

    Just ask Rush Limbaugh. He'll tell you.

    Unless . . . NO it couldn't be . . . You're not suggesting that Rush misled us, are you?!

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    March 27, 2014 10:56 a.m.


    You label the Pope as being liberal. Since when is being strongly opposed to abortion, birth control, divorce and homosexual marriage considered liberal?
    Answer: It's not.

    Based on past actions (and actions speak louder than words), Obama is an admirer of the Pope only when it proves to be politically expedient.
    As worf mentioned, Obama could learn some very good lessons from the Pope regarding both his political views on controversial issues and also regarding his personal conduct... both which have caused him to drop substantially in the approval ratings of the American public. He's now a post-WWII low for 6th year presidents.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    March 27, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    @GaryO and Happy Valley Heretic:

    The only thing Obama has in common with the Pope is a believe in income equality... a much bigger issue in third world countries than in America, where capitalism catapulted America to become the strongest and greatest country on earth. Many liberals have recently tended to forget that their current comfortable lifestyles can be attributed directly to that fact.

    There are huge differences in Obama's and the Pope's beliefs regarding birth control and homosexual marriage... two very controversial issues still causing contention in the U.S. and many other places around the world. I noticed you two both conveniently forget to mention that fact when pontificating the relationship of limited commonalities between the Pope and the president.
    And when it comes to both issues, I will always follow a conservative man of God as opposed to a liberal secularist. Biblical history indicates that's always a better bet.

  • CylonesRus sunamn, IN
    March 27, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    The president is again is moving his lips. What Pres & Pope may have in common, is the end result, how they get there is how they depart in about 180 degree direction. The Pope Exhorts, Obama extorts (uses IRS, EPA, ACA).
    Charity that is forced is not charity at all. The pope exhorted corporations to help the poor, the POPE statement on unfettered capitalism is true, reference the financier of liberals, Soros. But capitalism with Christian values is what America was built upon, the example here is the enemy of the left (Senator Reid specifically) The Koch brothers who doesn't go around destroying a country's economies to fill his pockets like Soros does, to finance the leftist agendas, but has given much to charities serving the poor, communities in general, and to his employees (See 1 Tim 5:8). Corinthians 10:29 States this: Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
    The forcing the ADA on America is anti-liberty, thus anti-Christ;. Who you have aligned yourself with? Does the name start with a Capital C or a L. Christ "By there works ye shall know them".

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 27, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    Some things Obama can learn from the Pope:

    * thou shalt not lie
    * thou shalt not bear false witness

    Perhaps Obama can learn to strengthen his Christian beliefs.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 27, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Pope Francis is doing what Jesus would want him to do in these regards. Not casting the first stone.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 27, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    Not much of a supporter of organized religion, but this new Pope, he is acting like, dare I say Christ.
    From day one he's done things that upset the catholic royals, but really seem to jive with his mentors teachings.

    ...and Ditto to GaryO's comment.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Pope Francis is a great conservative who supports only marriage between a man and a woman. He is also against abortion. Pope Francis is doing what Jesus would want him to do in these regards.

    Pope Francis is God's leader on earth today and I stand with him on these important matters I have mentioned.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 27, 2014 7:41 a.m.

    Absolutely President Obama is a great admirer of Pope Francis. And why not? They have a lot in common. Pope Francis took his name from Saint Francis of Assissi, the patron saint of animals, the environment, and the poor.

    Obama and Pope Francis are both symbols of change. They both share the same values, and they're both Liberals, and they both believe in human rights.

    And Rush Limbaugh says both of them sound like Communists.

    It's not surprising that both Obama and the Pope are Liberals . . . Because as we all know, Jesus is a Liberal too.