African bishops attending a Vatican meeting are speaking about the election of Barack Obama in divine terms—putting them very much at odds with many of their U.S. counterparts.
Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra, Ghana said Wednesday that there was "a divine plan behind" Obama's election.
"It's like the biblical story repeating itself," he told reporters, citing the Old Testament figure Joseph, who after being sold into slavery in Egypt ends up becoming a top official.
"We believe God has his own plans. God directs history," he said of the U.S. election. "We pray that it (Obama's presidency) brings blessings for Africa and the whole world."
He acknowledged that Obama has earned the wrath of many conservative American bishops because of his support for abortion rights. Earlier this year, dozens of U.S. bishops denounced the leading U.S. Catholic university, Notre Dame, for giving Obama an honorary degree.
"We are definitely aware of it," Palmer-Buckle said. "But we feel it our duty to meet him and find out what are the things that unite us more than divide us."
I think I've told the story before that my mother was way ahead of the world when it came to acknowledging the helter skelter and destruction bishops heap upon Christ's Church.
Frankly, back then I was appalled by the things she would say.
Growing up, anytime one of them would be in the news, she'd watch - and out would come a good belly laugh. She'd mention something about hypocrisy and finish the experience by yelling back at the television "Get a job!"
Years later, at the height of revelations about pedophile cover ups, one day in particular stands out in my memory when the news was covering the Mass at a Synod.
With the utmost sincerity and painful exasperation she said to me "Carol, Whyyyy don't they get rid of those hats, they look ridiculous in them."
I turned to look at the television and watched them file into a Mass and by gum, I had a good laugh myself. They did look asinine. I've never been able to look at them the same again. The only time I was able to shake it was the funeral of my precious John Paul II.
The enemies inside the Catholic Church have always been the most heartbreaking throughout our history. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Thank God for the few outstanding Bishops and our Popes.
I want to end this post with one of them: Archbishop Charles Chaput has done a marvelous job chopping an ax at the root of corruption inside of the Church in an article written for a Vatican periodical.
First, resistance to President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame had nothing to do with whether he is a good or bad man. He is obviously a gifted man. He has many good moral and political instincts, and an admirable devotion to his family. These things matter. But unfortunately, so does this: The President’s views on vital bioethical issues, including but not limited to abortion, differ sharply from Catholic teaching. This is why he has enjoyed the strong support of major "abortion rights" groups for many years. Much is made, in some religious circles, of the President’s sympathy for Catholic social teaching. But defense of the unborn child is a demand of social justice. There is no "social justice" if the youngest and weakest among us can be legally killed. Good programs for the poor are vital, but they can never excuse this fundamental violation of human rights.
Do read this entire edifying article.