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by
Bridget Johnson

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January 31, 2014 - 8:21 am

President Obama said Pope Francis doesn’t need his advice about “staying humble.”

Obama is traveling to Rome in March to meet with the new pontiff. In a sit-down interview, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked if daughters Sasha and Malia would be coming along.

“You know, they met the previous pope the last time we went to Rome. I’m not sure they’re going to have a chance to go this time. But it was wonderful, great story was. You know, Sasha was still pretty young at the time. This is in my first year of office,” Obama said. “And they see the Sistine Chapel and going through these various chambers. Each time she’d see somebody dressed up in the cloth, she’d say, is that the pope? Is that the pope? How about that guy over there? They said, no, no, you’ll know when it is finally the pope.”

Tapper asked if Obama planned to talk to the wildly popular pope “about the importance of managing expectations at all.”

“Well, you know, I have been really impressed so far with the way he’s communicated what I think is the essence of the Christian faith and that is a true sense of brotherhood and sisterhood and regard for those who are less fortunate,” Obama responded. “And my suspicion is based on what I’ve seen of him so far, he’s a pretty steady guy. I don’t think he needs any advice from me about staying humble.”

A December poll had Pope Francis at an 88 percent approval rating with American Catholics and 69 percent with all Americans.

Obama’s approval rating is at 42 percent in the Gallup daily tracking poll, with 49 percent disapproval.

Obama said he doesn’t think Pope Francis is looking at his own approval rating.

“I think he is very much reflecting on his faith and what he needs to do to make sure that folks, not just of the Catholic faith, but people all around the world are living out a message that he thinks is consistent with the lessons of Jesus Christ,” the president said. “So, I’ve really been impressed. That’s a meeting I’m looking forward to.”

Pope Francis is on the cover of the Rolling Stone issue that hit newsstands today. “Unfortunately, the article disqualifies itself, falling into the usual mistake of a superficial journalism, which in order to highlight the positive aspects of Pope Francis, thinks it should describe in a negative way the pontificate of Pope Benedict, and does so with a surprising crudeness,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

pope-francis-rolling-stone-cover

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
I absolutely roared with laughter when I read Obama's comment about humility.

But then, I was a little bit amazed, too. I didn't think Obama had any idea the word "humble" existed.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (13)
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The Catholic Church is not the Pope. When a pope leaves office and another pope takes over nothing essential really changes. People like Pope Francis. That's nice. Catholics who have a traditional understanding of the faith are frustrated that his verbosity and imprecision generate confusion. Most Catholics don't concern themselves with the fine points of theology and focus on his human qualities.

I don't know what to make of his humility. Pope Emeritus Benedict is certainly a humble Christian. You can sense it in his voice and his actions. He always took pains to distinguish between his own opinions and the authoritative teaching of the Church and to express those teachings with great clarity. The media never highlighted Benedict's humility. I have no reason to doubt Pope Francis' character but it is curious that the media makes a big deal about his humility, focusing on what seem to be superficial public gestures. One thing is very clear about Pope Francis. He is not shy about making dramatic personnel decisions often without consulting others. The media seem obsessed with the thought that a change in personal style in the pope means a change in the teaching of the Church. They do not understand.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not only is he humble, he is modest, too. As Winston Churchill said of Clement Attlee, "he has much to be modest about."
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama is not " looking forward" to this meeting. He fears it.

America is left with a struggling economy. A snow storm shutting down major ports and crops against the threat of global warming which us a key tenant of the secular messianic icon he created. The peace he was supposed to bring is nothing more than defeat. Our defenses are near shut down. Our medical and scientific advances are stuck in the snow bank created by this political idiocy.

So this pathetic loser, who failed to complete the mission of the United States of America as a beacon of freedom and opportunity has only made things worse.

Now he thinks he can have a conversation with this Pope? No he cannot shut off his own internal self congratulation long enough to listen.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, he knows the definition of the word, so long as it's used as a transitive verb; then it means 'to curtail or destroy the pride of; humiliate' and/or 'to give a lower condition or station to; abase'.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The funny thing is the way Obama expresses himself like he is some omnipotent being with his "being impressed" with the new Pope. (Obama often does this.) Like Obama's approval is like a spiritual blessing. Really, the Pope is generationally older than Obama and has spend more of his time and talent helping others. Obama should want the Pope's approval not the other way around.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
“Well, you know, I have been really impressed so far with the way he’s communicated what I think is the essence of the Christian faith..."

Wow.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
...and then proceeds to get it wrong, but what can you expect from someone who speaks of the Essence of Christianity.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
What do you expect from someone who was apparently raised Muslim? Or did you think he learned a lot about Christianity in Rev. Wright's church, where the main subject of the sermons seemed to be damning America?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Holy Spirit works in uncontrollable ways. Let's hope the Pope moves President Obama to back down on forcing abortion inducing drugs on the Little Sisters of the Poor.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
And on the rest of us, and especially on the unborn. Come, Holy Spirit. We need a miracle here.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I absolutely roared with laughter when I read Obama's comment about humility.

But then, I was a little bit amazed, too. I didn't think Obama had any idea the word "humble" existed.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Considering that Dear Liar doesn't know the meaning of "humble," yeah.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why does Obama assume he has advice to give about the matter?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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