Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Bishops to Obama: In Second Term, "We Will Continue to Stand In Defense"

As expected, at 8.40 this morning the following congratulatory letter to President Obama on his re-election was released by the USCCB president, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, writing in the name of the nation's bishops. (Emphasis original.)

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Dear President Obama,             
             In my capacity as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I write to express my congratulations on your re-election as President of the United States.  The people of our country have again entrusted you with a great responsibility.  The Catholic Bishops of the United States offer our prayers that God will give you strength and wisdom to meet the difficult challenges that face America. 
            In particular, we pray that you will exercise your office to pursue the common good, especially in care of the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn, the poor, and the immigrant.  We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom.  We pray, too, that you will help restore a sense of civility to the public order, so our public conversations may be imbued with respect and charity toward everyone. 
            May God bless you and Vice President Biden as you prepare for your second term in service to our country and its citizens.                 
Sincerely yours,

Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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Beyond the statement of the domestic church leadership, in something of a surprise, it emerged overnight that the Pope had sent his own well-wishes to Obama, expressing his prayers along with the hope that "the ideals of liberty and justice which guided the founders" of the US "might continue to shine forth along the nation's path."

Announced by the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, the complete text of the papal telegram was not made public.

"We all wish President Obama well," Lombardi said, "that he might serve law and justice for the good and the growth of every person, respecting human values and spiritual essentials, in the promotion of a culture of life and religious freedom... and effectively promote integral human development, justice and peace in the world."

In what'll now be midway through a second Obama term, Benedict XVI has indicated his intent to make the second Stateside visit of his seven-year pontificate. Should it pan out, the journey will be centered on Philadelphia, which was designated in June as the host-city of the next World Meeting of Families, slated to take place at some point during the summer of 2015.