(CatholicCulture - Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009) Pope Benedict XVI met on Wednesday with US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and gently chided the American lawmaker for her support of legal abortion. Pelosi, who describes herself as an "ardent Catholic," met briefly with the Pontiff after his regular weekly public audience. The Pope regularly meets with visiting dignitaries after his Wednesday audience, and ordinarily no public statements are issued. But following his meeting with Pelosi the Vatican released this unusual public statement:
His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the Church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death which enjoin all Catholics, and especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society, to work in co-operation with all men and women of good will in creating a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.
Should have been stronger in our opinion...but then the Holy Father is a lot smarter than we are. Cartoon by Catholic Cartoon Blog.
Update: 02/19-11:30 a.m. - Here's Ms Pelosi's version of the 15-minute meeting:
"It is with great joy that my husband, Paul, and I met with his Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI today," Pelosi said in a statement released hours after the meeting. "In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church's leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father's dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel. I was proud to show his Holiness a photograph of my family's papal visit in the 1950s, as well as a recent picture of our children and grandchildren."
Big differences, wouldn't you say?