President Obama and Pope Francis aren’t likely to be best friends forever after they meet tomorrow—despite some journalists’ excitement over the event.
“Obama To Find Ally On Justice In First Meeting With Pope Francis,” is The Huffington Post headline for a Reuters piece. “When Pope Francis meets President Obama, expect collaboration over conflict,” is the headline of an article by David Gibson for the Religious News Service.
But while the Pope may agree with Obama more on some fiscal matters than he does with the Tea Party, there is a wide gulf between the two men on moral issues. Obama’s voting record on abortion—he even voted to legalize infanticide while a state senator—is no doubt abhorrent to Francis, who said earlier this year, “It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), in a Fox News interview earlier this week, noted that Obamacare’s birth-control coverage mandate—regardless of whether a business owner has religious objections to birth control—is a topic on which Obama and Francis don’t see eye to eye. Obama, Paul opined, “ought to explain to the pope why he is telling businesses in America they can’t remain true to their faith and stay in business.”
And let’s not forget the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns who are currently fighting in the courts to not have to offer the contraception coverage mandated by Obamacare.
It’s anyone’s guess whether Francis will choose to directly talk to Obama about any of these matters. But even if the meeting produces a smiling photo-op of the two men, make no mistake: Francis and Obama are not in agreement about some of the most pressing moral issues of the day.