Great post over at Aleteia by Elizabeth Scalia on President Obama’s guest list for the Pope Francis visit to the White House next week. She writes:
Packing his guest list with “sinners” is not at issue. We are all sinners. Packing the list with open dissenters to church teaching, though, is a purposeful, planned and deliberate rebuke to the church.
These theatricals are just a game. Obama puckishly courts controversy and the world wonders whether the pope will squirm.
Francis will not squirm; he will greet everyone to whom he is introduced with perfect courtesy and warmth, because the pope is better than anyone at seeing the human person before him as a created creature, beloved of God, and in need of both respect and mercy.
But the game is not actually about challenging the pope: it’s about keeping the culture wars flaming and political divisions alive; it’s about manipulating the angry right into pitching a fit because the pope didn’t pivot away from Obama’s guests, shouting “Arrepentirse! Repent!”; it’s about cueing the angry left to cry, “Shame! See how these hateful Christians shove one another!” while the press shuffles forward chanting that Francis is, “one of us; one of us!”
This opinion piece isn’t about the people Obama is introducing to the pope. Francis wants to meet everyone, as he should, and he goes out of his way to do so, time and again. It’s about Obama’s own cynical move to exploit Peter, for the sake of the culture wars.