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Habemus Politicking: White Smoke Drifts Across Washington

Obama: "Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity."

by
Bridget Johnson

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March 13, 2013 - 4:48 pm
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As the cardinals continued deliberations in the Sistine Chapel earlier today, President Obama went to Capitol Hill for his own meeting behind closed doors with congressional Republicans.

Perched at a lectern, giving what looked more like a sermon than any sort of roundtable, Obama was delivered a note during the meeting, according to Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.).

The president announced to the gathered GOPs that there was white smoke at the Vatican, signaling the election of a new pope. “I asked if that means White House is open for tours?” Long tweeted. “He said no but Vatican is.”

After arriving back at the White House, Obama walked toward the press pool and quipped, “You guys hit the jackpot.” But he ignored a question — “Are you paying attention to the pope?” — and walked off to the Oval Office.

Washington saw the election not just of a shepherd of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics but of a new political leader, a head of the Holy See who is known as a humble yet formidable man, who has washed and kissed the feet of AIDS patients, who rides the bus to work and cooks his own meals, but has been at loggerheads with leftist Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner for refusing to budge on Church orthodoxy.

“On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis as he ascends to the Chair of Saint Peter and begins his papacy. As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than two thousand years—that in each other we see the face of God,” Obama said in a statement on the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

The 266th leader of the Catholic Church is the first Latin American pope in history, as well as the first Jesuit pontiff.

“As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day,” Obama continued. “Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith. We join with people around the world in offering our prayers for the Holy Father as he begins the sacred work of leading the Catholic Church in our modern world.”

The White House then announced that Vice President Joe Biden would lead the U.S. delegation to the March 19 installation Mass of Pope Francis.

“Jill and I want to offer our congratulations to His Holiness Pope Francis, and extend our prayers as he takes on this holy responsibility. I am happy to have the chance to personally relay my well wishes, and those of the American people, when I travel to Rome for his Inaugural Mass,” Biden said in a statement. “The Catholic Church plays an essential role in my life and the lives of more than a billion people in America and around the world, not just in matters of our faith, but in pursuit of peace and human dignity for all faiths. I look forward to our work together in the coming years on many important issues.”

On the balcony to give his first blessing, Urbi et Orbi, Pope Francis asked those gathered in rainy St. Peter’s Square to pray for him.

“You all know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him,” the new pontiff said. “But here we are.”

Before Bergoglio was elected and took the name of St. Francis of Assisi, the creature most often associated with the patron saint of animals — a bird — was perched atop the Sistine Chapel chimney for much of the afternoon.

Besides jumping on the pope’s strict adherence to the Church’s moral teachings, Twitter lit up with accusations from leftists that the pope aided the right-wing junta in Argentina. Blogger Andrew Sullivan declared that Francis’ affinity for the poor “will give Paul Ryan heartburn.”

“My family and I offer our prayers for Pope Francis. Like his namesake St. Francis, Pope Francis has lived a life of humility and commitment to the poor. For his spiritual leadership, we are grateful. And for his message of renewal, we will heed his call,” Ryan, a Catholic, said this evening.

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All Comments   (13)
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I'd like to know exactly how the Catholic Church plays "an essential role" in Biden's life since he goes against most of the teachings central to the Church. Biden is no more a real Catholic than the Ayatollah Khemeini. Zippy's comments are a classic illustration of how easily he lies. Zippy subscribes to none of the things his speech alludes to.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"in each other we see the face of God" -- Sorry Barry, as someone who went to Catholic schools for 12 years, I have never heard of this concept. I'm pretty sure that the "Vatican line" (as the New York Times calls it) is that Jesus (remember him?), not us, is the face of God. Obama must be so narcissistic that he actually thinks everyone believes his "we are the ones we've been waiting for" idea. No, Catholic don't believe that we're God.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
i just read that a U.S. Military Chaplain was awarded a Bronze Star Medal for this new following edict to our troops.

"We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others”.

This and a new Pope being named today got me to wondering.

What will the new Pope tell his Priests to tell their flock if they ask whether to follow this? If a member of the U.S. Military about to deploy to Afcrapistan, or whatever Muslim shariah crap hole is up next, asks his Priest whether he should hold the beliefs of Muslims sacred, what should the Priest say? What if a member of the flock sees an “honor” killing about to take place, even right here in America, should he say “What you are doing is sacred?”
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
John Batchelor on his last show had a wonderful summation on all of our Muslem wars!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The White House then announced that Vice President Joe Biden would lead the U.S. delegation to the March 19 installation Mass of Pope Francis."

That ought to be a barrel of laughs or a comedy of errors. Take yer pick!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I consider the biden gaff bag a fitting representitive to speak for his unholy crew.Can't expect the President to just take off for the weekend.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bam Bam speak with forked tongue. Bishops united against lack of religious exemption in the forced insurance buying bill, anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage new pope with experience in the fight in Argentina. He ain't no happy camper tonight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So are they going to "do skeet shooting all the time"?

Because, everybody knows, The Messiah used to work with the previous pope very closely, all the time.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Did Obama find a church yet? Yes if we consider golf a religion.Teach a man to fish,Not,but throw his barking followers fish by the bucket full.I have a question,is it a sin to put obama and the pope in the same sentence.Is their a special mouth wash required to flush that smell? Heard sneaking a cigerette can help.What's a muslem president to do?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Once the GOP repents in sackcloth and ashes heaped on their heads and a month of mourning over their terrible mistreatment of the Latinos in our nation , They will then listen to the Holy Pope of Rome and instead of forming their own powerful political party give GOP bowing before them a 2nd look.
This repentance is important and Christianss should expect punishment just as I got after repenting for saying nuke Iran when I could have been responsible for burning alive pretty innocent girls in Iran who adore holy Mary mother of God!!!! No wonder why the 4 winds were released on me
and my great city for a month and a half so Christians have this ace in the hole figure of speech and find good repent face as we shall see in Mitt Romney when he say how sorry he is and beg on his knees, Latinos, to forgive him for he became demon possessed , apostate, a anti christ worshiper of the dammed fallen angels thrown in the outter darkness of Tartaros,yet his Christian repentance save him through the blood of Jesus so he is given grace before the True God. If Mitt Romney can be forgiven
how much more will latinos find grace favor of the True God as they work through their common man's sins and help bring great good changes to their nation ,USA.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Huh???
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama's mad at the cardinals for upstaging another one of his sanctimonious lectures to his cheerleaders, the mainstream media. Pope Francis I will do more for humanity than this narcissist will do as our president.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think that's the exact same statement given to congratulate President Morsi, with a few words changed around.

I'm not sure because the words leap and squirm until all they say is "blah, blah, blah, blah."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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