Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Summit of the Chiefs

Earlier this afternoon -- a day after the latter publicly lobbied against the rollback of the Bush administration's last-minute "conscience rights" protections for health-care providers -- President Obama met in the Oval Office with the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Francis George OMI of Chicago.

The White House has issued the following statement:
Today the President met in the Oval Office with His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago and President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The President and Cardinal George discussed a wide range of issues, including important opportunities for the government and the Catholic Church to continue their long-standing partnership to tackle some of the nation’s most pressing challenges. The President thanked Cardinal George for his leadership and for the contributions of the Catholic Church in America and around the world.
And the Mothership has released the following:
Cardinal Francis George, OMI, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, met at the White House with President Barack Obama during the afternoon of March 17.

The meeting was private. Cardinal George and President Obama discussed the Catholic Church in the United States and its relation to the new Administration. The meeting lasted approximately 30 minutes.

At the conclusion, Cardinal George expressed his gratitude for the meeting and his hopes that it will foster fruitful dialogue for the sake of the common good.
Also today, the President used the traditional St Patrick's Day lunch to announce his nomination of Dan Rooney -- the chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a Catholic and a faithful supporter of church causes -- as his ambassador to Ireland.

Now celebrating the sixth world championship of the team his father founded, Rooney was a staunch Obama advocate during last year's campaign.