While President Obama is in Rome this week for the G8 summit, he is scheduled to meet with the Pope.  This meeting is causing some outrage amongst Catholics who question why the Pope would want to meet with President Obama given the latter’s support of abortion. This is not surprising considering the outrage leading up to the President’s commencement address at Notre Dame (was there a slow clap at the end of the President’s address like there was at the end of Rudy)?

Could the Pope taking a meeting with the president suggest that the Vatican is softening its stand on abortion? I’ll take “strongly disagree” for $1,000 Alex.

Let’s think outside the realm of Religion for a minute and consider the role doctors play in our lives.  Who are doctors here to serve, the healthy or the sick? The answer is, of course, both.  Doctors help the healthy stay healthy though preventative care and they of course are available to help heal those who are sick. 

The Church is like a doctor whose job it is to maintain the spiritual health of its members but also heal those who could be considered spiritually ill.  In this light, Catholics should view the Pope’s meeting with President Obama as the opportunity to change his heart on the abortion issue and not as an endorsement of his pro-choice views.

Not to deflate the importance of their differences on the abortion issue, but I wonder how far apart the Pope and President Obama are on other important issues including immigration, war, the availability of healthcare, and general public welfare.  We may never know as our media prefers to focus on areas of conflict vs. areas of agreement.