Bush to Pope: "Help Me Fight Them Homos!"

From the NY Times:

On his recent trip to Rome, President Bush asked a top Vatican official to push American bishops to speak out more about political issues, including same-sex marriage, according to a report in the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper. In a column posted Friday evening on the paper’s Web site, John L. Allen Jr., its correspondent in Rome and the dean of Vatican journalists, wrote that Mr. Bush had made the request in a June 4 meeting with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state. Citing an unnamed Vatican official, Mr. Allen wrote: “Bush said, ‘Not all the American bishops are with me’ on the cultural issues. The implication was that he hoped the Vatican would nudge them toward more explicit activism.” Mr. Allen wrote that others in the meeting confirmed that **the president had pledged aggressive efforts “on the cultural front, especially the battle against gay marriage, and asked for the Vatican’s help in encouraging the U.S. bishops to be more outspoken.” **

The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called the report “mind-boggling.” “It is just unprecedented for a president to ask for help from the Vatican to get re-elected, and that is exactly what this is,” Mr. Lynn said. Linda Pieczynski, a spokeswoman for Call to Action, a liberal Catholic group, said, “For a president to try to get the leader of any religious organization to manipulate his fellow clergymen to support a political candidate crosses the line in this country.”

Mr. Bush’s campaign is betting heavily on churchgoers in his re-election effort, and how Catholic voters apply their faith to politics is emerging as a focal point of the race. There are an estimated 63 million Catholics in the United States. Bush campaign pollsters have said that in the last election, people who attended church regularly voted disproportionately for Mr. Bush, though Catholics were much more evenly split than Protestants were. In the last six months, a handful of Catholic bishops in the United States have already weighed in on the presidential race by threatening to withhold communion from Catholic politicians who disagree with the church’s stance on abortion, a group that includes Senator Kerry. Pope John Paul II praised Mr. Bush last week for “the promotion of moral values” but reminded the president of the pope’s “unequivocal position” on Iraq.

Poopies. I meant to post this either in the Pit or Great Debates—could a Mod move this to either forum, whichever you think is most appropriate? Not Cafe Society, unless it devolves into “who should play Bush and the Pope in the movie version?”

Meanwhile, his daddy celebrated his 80th birthday in the arms of a golden knight.

Otto’s already opened a very similar thread in the Pit, FWIW.

Ah, OK—let’s just close this one down, then.

Not only that, he asked the guy if he wouldn’t mind packing his chute.

Does anyone else picture Bush Sr. doing this :smack: every time he sees his son on TV?

There’s a thread in Great Debates too. Try as I will–“George and John-Paul’s Excellent Adventure?”–I just can’t figure out a way to dump it into Cafe Society either.
Ah well. Closed at the request of the OP.

TVeblen