impeccably well-sourced Rome hand, Jeff Israely, reports
that a Benedict-Barack Summit could take place "perhaps [by] early July"... and that any FOCA movement
by the new administration wouldn't just encite the Stateside church leadership:
"There's more fear here than wrath," a senior Vatican official told TIME with regard to the Catholic hierarchy's attitude toward Obama. However, if Obama signs the Freedom of Choice Act in his first months in office "it would be the equivalent of a war," says the same official. "It would be like saying: 'We've heard the Catholic Church and we have no interest in their concerns."...-30-
Beyond bioethics, Vatican officials generally view the incoming American administration's economic and foreign policy as a marked improvement over the past eight years, which included vocal criticism from Rome over the war in Iraq and a skepticism toward unfettered capitalism preached by Republicans. The possibility of an open clash over abortion could squander the potential for the Vatican to work side-by-side with Washington on issues such as Middle East peace, human rights and environmental protection. It might also tighten the smiles when it's time for that first photo op.