Vatican officials, US Catholic leaders outraged at Obama’s guest list for the pope

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

With Pope Francis set to visit Washington next week, prominent Catholics are taking offense with who the White House is inviting to a reception honoring the Holy Father.

A decision Princeton Professor Robert George called a “disgrace,” according to CNS News.

Included within the controversial guest list are several hard-left pro-abortion and gay rights activists.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

“On the eve of Pope Francis’s arrival in the U.S., the Vatican has taken offense at the Obama administration’s decision to invite to the pope’s welcome ceremony transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and an activist nun who leads a group criticized by the Vatican for its silence on abortion and euthanasia.”


George condemned President Obama for insulting the Pope.

“Barack Obama is a president who would not even raise the case of imprisoned Saudi dissident Raif Badawi when visiting Saudi Arabian King Salman, lest the king’s religious sensibilities be offended,” he told CNS News. “He is a president who makes a deal with the Iranian regime without demanding release of Christian pastor Saeed Abidini, who languishes in a prison cell because of his faith.

“Yet this same Barack Obama insults the Pope and faithful Catholics everywhere with stunts like this.”

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The Rev. Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life, told CNS News that this was part of a larger pattern, with Obama “using the Catholic Church and using the trappings of Catholicism to advance his own morally incompetent agenda.”

Pavone said he was not invited to the reception.

“I think it’s an intentional attempt to hijack Pope Francis’s visit for LGBT causes and perhaps get some photos of activists with the Holy Father,” said Catholic University Professor Jay Richards.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue released a statement saying Obama was engaging in an “attempt to exploit a papal visit to promote an agenda that is offensive to faithful Catholics.”

Donohue said: “It is so fitting that the least friendly administration to religion in history would invite a collection of pro-abortion nuns, Catholic gay activists, assorted dissidents and religious rebels to attend Pope Francis’ visit to the White House on September 23.”


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