Vatican wants to work with Obama, cardinal says

by Catholic News Service

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The Vatican is concerned about President-elect Barack Obama's positions on the family and on the unborn, but it looks forward with hope to his presidency fostering more attention to the poor and easing violence around the globe, said retired Cardinal Pio Laghi. The cardinal, a former Vatican nuncio to the United States, spoke about the prospects for U.S.-Vatican relations under Obama during a Dec. 22 conference in Rome sponsored by Limes, an Italian political journal.

Although some pundits have said Obama's support for legalized abortion and embryonic stem-cell research would poison the rapport the United States and the Vatican have developed under President George W. Bush -- despite the Vatican's opposition to the war in Iraq -- Cardinal Laghi said, "the Vatican does not fear" the end of close cooperation. "One must wait to see how he acts with regard to the fundamental commitments -- which for us are very important -- to protect the family and the sacredness of human life from conception to the tomb," the cardinal said.

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