What about the brutal attack on our children's sensibilities by all media? Sitting through an evening of American television, would the Pope not be disgusted by the ads about male sexual enhancement drugs, feminine hygiene products, and the general disdain for decency in shows depicting premarital sex and violence as regular and normal ways of life?
Yes, there must have been much to discuss on the table for these two men, but thirty minutes does not allow for much discussion beyond the pleasantries of introduction and pomp and circumstance. How much real discourse could have taken place? We know that gifts were exchanged, and that the Pope also gave Obama a lengthy printed treatise on the Vatican’s stance regarding stem cell research. This is a good start, but so much more is needed.
When these two men had a chance to sit down, one-on-one, with no cameras and no else present, what was exchanged? Obama is in dire need of direction when it comes to spirituality, and the Pope is in dire need of a lesson on the real world out there. Hopefully, the Pope blessed Mr. Obama and will continue to pray for him as he leads this nation and the world in matters of significance regarding urgent economic, social, and political events. For his part, Mr. Obama should have offered the promise of continued and meaningful dialogue. Too often, it seems the President (and this is true for most administrations in my memory) of our country does not appreciate the importance of the man who is in charge at the Vatican.
Two remarkable men met in Rome yesterday. We can only hope that their meeting is the start of something better and not just a photo opportunity. The lives of millions, perhaps even billions, of people hang in the balance. In an increasingly violent and disturbing world, their leadership can make a difference; their joint cooperation may just be the thing we need to rise to a better level of understanding and affect real change in matters that are truly life and death issues.