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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

March 27, 2014 - 11:05 am

President Obama said he told Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin today that religious freedom is being respected in the application of Obamacare.

The Vatican meeting, after Obama sat down with Pope Francis, came in the same week as arguments before the Supreme Court about the contraception mandate and religious objections among for-profit businesses.

Obama told reporters that he and Parolin “discussed briefly the issue of making sure that conscience and religious freedom was observed in the context of applying the law.”

“And I explained to him that most religious organizations are entirely exempt. Religiously affiliated hospitals or universities or NGOs simply have to attest that they have a religious objection, in which case they are not required to provide contraception although that employees of theirs who choose are able to obtain it through the insurance company,” the president haltingly continued.

“And I pledged to continue to dialogue with the U.S. Conference of Bishops to make sure that we can strike the right balance, making sure that not only everybody has healthcare but families, and women in particular, are able to enjoy the kind of healthcare coverage that the ACA offers, but that religious freedom is still observed.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops filed an amicus brief in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood at the end of January.

The USCCB wrote in the brief that it opposes “any rule that would require faithful Catholics and other religiously motivated business owners to choose between providing coverage for products and speech that violate their religious beliefs, and exposing their businesses to devastating penalties.” These penalties include “potentially fatal fines” of $100 a day per affected individual.

Frequently pausing and carefully choosing his words, Obama said he and the pontiff talked about “issues of the poor, the marginalized, those without opportunity, and growing inequality” as well as “the challenges of conflict and how elusive peace is around the world.”

“I think the theme that stitched our conversation together was a belief that in politics and in life the quality of empathy, the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes and to care for someone even if they don’t look like you or talk like you or share your philosophy — that that’s critical. It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars,” Obama said. “It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.  And obviously central to my Christian faith is a belief in treating others as I’d have them treat me. And what’s I think created so much love and excitement for His Holiness has been that he seems to live this, and shows that joy continuously.”

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.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
When I read the article, I had the very same thought as "scoggin".
I simply hope that Mr Obama receives his just due, in this life or the next.
Mr Obama does not protect ANY freedoms in the U>S> religious or otherwise.
Just my opinions.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
All that empathy Obama shows every day - he knows what it's like to fly in the other guy's jet, drive in the other guy's motorcade, lounge in the other guy's Presidential Suite, etc.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lying to the Pope and a Cardinal, in the Vatican, during Lent. Now THAT's the Chicago way!

The Sun King won't be embarassed; shoot, he'll be laughing about it with his buddies on Air Force One during the trip home.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (28)
All Comments   (28)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Correction: Gee, I wonder how many Pinocchios will be awarded by the WASHINGTON POST, for that bald-faced lie?.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gee, I wonder how many Pinocchios will be awarded by Politifact for THAT bald-faced lie?
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just when i thought that this p.o.s. couldn't get any lower,i find he was only stuck in the elbow of the sewer pipe.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama says; "Hey everyone! The Pope agrees with me! I preach empathy and he lives it!"
Power, and the quest for it via ruthless ambition, does strange things to people. Next up; Newsweek front cover photo of Obama complete with golden halo and angels at his right hand.
If Obama is really so ambitious that he would lie to the Pope in order to promote Obamacare; he may need some prolonged counseling and mental help.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama can tell the Vatican all about how he protects religious freedom but what do you want to bet they are like everybody else these days, they probably don't believe a word he says.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
and you sir,can probably take that to the bank.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
too bad there isn't Borgia type pope holding the office. he, obi and holder could get together and show some 'empathy' as they market some assault weapons to the mexican drug cartels, thereby getting hundreds more people killed for a commie/socialist (gun grabbing) agenda.

how people do fawn over fools. looking for a blessing from the pope now?

blessings (web.): b. approval, encouragement

good grief charlie brown!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here's an example of his " Christian faith"?????

" The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam"
Barack Hussein Obama
Sept 25,2012
U.N. Gener al Assembly
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
I would think Obama and the Pope would have gotten along very well as they are two of the biggest anti-capitalists [anti free enterprise/anti individual rights] on the planet. And they are both enemies of Christianity, one by his actions, the other by his silence.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I read the article, I had the very same thought as "scoggin".
I simply hope that Mr Obama receives his just due, in this life or the next.
Mr Obama does not protect ANY freedoms in the U>S> religious or otherwise.
Just my opinions.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. President, how can you say you care about the poor when you believe it's okay to kill the unborn? You say you want your daughters to have the right to choose. Choose what? To kill your future grandchildren? Do you listen to yourself when you talk?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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