Common Dreams NewsCenter

We Can't Do It Without You!
 

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

Home > Progressive Community > NewsWire > For Immediate Release
   
Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
   
Pax Christi USA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 4, 2004
9:30 PM
CONTACT:  Pax Christi USA
Johnny Zokovitch at 352-219-8419
 
Pope’s Criticism of President Bush should not be Obscured by Media Photo-op - The President is more interested in Reelection than in hearing the advice of Religious Leaders says U.S. Catholic Leader
 

WASHINGTON - June 4 - The atmosphere around Friday’s visit between President George W. Bush and Pope John Paul II at the Vatican seemed more like a rally stop on the campaign trail than a meeting between two world leaders who share little in common on matters of foreign policy.

“The meeting between the two world leaders and the concomitant media coverage that accompanied it suggests the strategic importance the Bush administration is placing on the Catholic vote in the upcoming presidential election,” said Dave Robinson, national director of Pax Christi USA (www.paxchristiusa.org). “But no matter how many photo opportunities or presidential awards the Bush administration cloaks its 2004 reelection strategy in, the fact remains that this administration’s foreign policies are diametrically opposed to the values and beliefs articulated by Pope John Paul II and the worldwide Catholic Church.”

Echoing recent criticism of President Bush and his policies in the Middle East by Cardinal James Francis Stafford and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michel Sabbah, Pope John Paul read from a prepared text: “In the past few weeks other deplorable events have come to light which have troubled the civic and religious conscience of all, and made more difficult a serene and resolute commitment to shared human values; in the absence of such a commitment neither war nor terrorism will ever be overcome.”

Such criticism continues to be dismissed by the president. Ignoring the pope’s statements, President Bush instead chose to bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the ailing pontiff.

“President Bush should have used today’s meeting to offer explanations why the opinions of the world’s religious leaders are ignored by himself and others in his administration,” said Eric LeCompte, chair of the Pax Christi USA national council. “Instead, what we see is blatant political opportunism, orchestrated to confuse U.S. Catholics into thinking that President Bush is in tune with the principles of their faith.”

When the visit between president and pope was announced in mid-May, many U.S. Catholic leaders predicted that this meeting was less about President Bush seeking the counsel of Pope John Paul II and more about the upcoming presidential campaign and the important Catholic swing vote.

“Bush campaign strategists know full well the value of the well-timed photo-op,” said Robinson. “While video and photographs of Pope John Paul II and President Bush sitting side-by-side will appear in hundreds of news outlets and front pages across the country—and linger in the minds of voters for months to come—the Vatican’s harsh criticisms of President Bush’s foreign policy will continue to be underreported in the media and, unfortunately, unheard in pulpits across the United States.”

###

Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
Common Dreams NewsCenter is a non-profit news service
providing breaking news and views for the Progressive Community.

The press release posted here has been provided to Common Dreams NewsWire by one of the many progressive organizations who make up America's Progressive Community. If you wish to comment on this press release or would like more information, please contact the organization directly.
*all times Eastern US (GMT-5:00)

Making News?
Read our Guidelines for Submitting News Releases

CommonDreams.org is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.


www.commondreams.org