President Obama and Pope Benedict XVI will meet for the first time face-to-face on Friday during Obama's trip to Italy for the G8 summit.
The meeting will likely be characterized as a clash of the pro-life and pro-choice agendas. As early as November of last year, Time magazine predicted this meeting and asked: "Will the Pope and Obama Clash Over Abortion?" Abortion and other topics related to bioethics are expected to be raised at the meeting. Time's latest story reports:
To paint the Obama-meets-Benedict dossier in broad strokes, says one senior Vatican diplomat, "it's basically the reverse of Bush." In other words, the Pope tends to appreciate the new President's less aggressive approach to foreign affairs, while he disagrees on ethical matters such as abortion rights and stem-cell research - whereas President George W. Bush was seen by the Vatican as one of the few like-minded Western leaders on social issues, but whose invasion of Iraq was strongly opposed by the Vatican.
In preparation ...1