Days after discussing the U.S. Catholic bishops’ fight over contraception with President Obama, Pope Francis met Monday with members of the Green family, the Oklahoma billionaires whose company,Hobby Lobby, took their challenge to Obama’s contraception mandate to the Supreme Court last week.
The pope met with Obama on Thursday for the first time, touching on some hot-button disputes between the White House and U.S. Catholic bishops.
A Vatican statement after the meeting said that the two men talked about issues including “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection,” a veiled reference to Obama’s disputes with the American bishops (and the Green family) over the administration’s contraception mandate under Obamacare.
Obama later downplayed the contraception discussions with Francis, telling reportersthat he and the pope didn’t spend much time on “social schisms.” He said he and the Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, discussed “briefly the issue of making sure that conscience and religious freedom was observed in the context of applying the law.”
The Greens are in Rome for the launch of one of their traveling exhibits, “Verbum Domini II” (Latin for “The Word of the Lord”).
“The purpose of the meeting was to thank the pope for the loan of items to the exhibit from the Vatican museum and library,” said Jennifer Sheran of DeMoss, the Atlanta public relations firm that represents the Greens. “The pope did ask how the (Hobby Lobby) case was progressing.”
Source: Charisma News | SARAH PULLIAM BAILEY/RNS