Pope Francis and Presient Obama at the White House this morning
“Mr President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination.
With countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty.
That freedom remains one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.”
President Obama in the Oval Office with Vice president Joe Biden on Saturday.
After a 45-minute walk Friday night, President Barack Obama made a fateful decision that none of his top national security advisers saw coming: To seek congressional authorisation before taking military action in Syria.
The stunning about-face after a week of U.S. saber rattling risked not only igniting a protracted congressional fight, which could end with a vote against strikes, but a backlash from allies in the Middle East who had warned the White House that inaction would embolden not only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but his closest allies, Iran and Hezbollah.
He said in order to defend our own freedom he needed to fight for gay equality.
‘When we stand up for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters…we defend our own liberty as well.”
The reference is an echo to his inaugural address in 2013, when Obama said the journey is not complete until LGBT people are treated like anyone else under the law.
President Obama (top) at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, today with Angela Merkel (right), who opposes marriage equality.