(WND) As the Vatican prepares the canonization ceremonies for Pope John Paul XXIII and Pope John Paul II this Sunday, the unspoken issue dividing the Roman Catholic Church and the White House is President Obamaâ€™s determination to force faith-based groups to pay for abortions and contraception as part of Obamacare.
Pope Francis, affirming Catholic doctrine, recently characterized abortion as an â€œunspeakable crime.â€
Obama, nevertheless, is sending to the Vatican a three-person delegation with an activist pro-abortion history to represent the U.S. at the canonizations.
At a Planned Parenthood conference in Washington, D.C., one year ago, President Obama ended his remarks with: â€œThank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you. God bless America,â€ despite the groupâ€™s status as the No. 1 provider of abortions in the U.S.
On April 11, just two weeks after Obamaâ€™s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, the pope characterized abortion as an â€œunspeakable crimeâ€ in a speech to the Italian pro-life group Moviemento per la Vita, Movement for Life.
â€œWe know human life is sacred and inviolable,â€ Francis said. â€œEvery civil law is based on the recognition of the first and fundamental right, that to life, which is not subject to any conditions, neither economic nor qualitative nor ideological.â€
Characterizing â€œone of the most serious risks todayâ€ as the divorce between economics and morality, Francis strongly supported the rights of the unborn, saying: â€œIt is therefore necessary to reiterate the strongest opposition to any direct attack on life, especially innocent and defenseless life, and the unborn child in the motherâ€™s womb is the innocent par excellence.â€
To underscore the fact that he was articulating Roman Catholic doctrine, Francis recalled the words of the Second Vatican Council, saying, â€œFrom the moment of conception, life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.
The White House announced April 11 its delegation to the canonizations Sunday consists of the following:
- John Podesta, the former White House chief of staff under Bill Clinton and the current counselor to the president who founded the leftist Washington-based think tank Center for American Progress;
- Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., chairman of the House Democratic Caucus; and
- Katie Beirne Fallon, assistant to the president and director of legislative affairs in the White House.
All three are Democrats with a history of supporting abortion as a central issue in the Democratic Party-framed debate over â€œa womanâ€™s reproductive rights.â€ [More]