John Allen, NCR senior correspondent and Vatican watcher, has pointed out repeatedly that while some U.S. Catholic bishops -- roughly one-fifth of the bishops in this country -- are harshly critical President Obama for his policies on abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, the Vatican has been more receptive to the president. (See John's Vatican's moderate line on Obama has deep roots).
The Vatican was at it again yesterday.
"The search for common ground: this seems to be the path chosen by the president of the United States, Barack Obama, to face the delicate question of abortion," said an unsigned article in the May 18 edition of L'Osservatore Romano.
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This was official church newspaper's first mention of the roiling debate about Obama's presence at the University Notre Dame (which, by the way, the paper called "the most prestigious Catholic university in the United States.")
Another article later in the paper details the U.S. bishops campaign against Obama's stem cell research policies.
This piece quotes extensively Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, who is among the one-fifth mentioned above. L'O quoted Chaput: "American public life cannot function if we keep our religious beliefs in the closet ... the U.S. does not need to be a Christian country, but it cannot survive if it is not open to solidarity and faith."