Congrats to Obama…

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…from Pope Benedict and Cardinal Dolan. Common diplomatic gestures, but note the words. First, from the VIS (Vatican Information Service):

Vatican City,  (VIS) – Benedict XVI, through the apostolic nunciature in Washington, U.S.A., has sent a message to Barack Obama, congratulating him on his re-election as president of the United States of America.
 
In his message the Holy Father expresses his best wishes to the president on his new mandate, and gives assurances of his prayers to God to help him carry out his serious responsibilities, both in his own country and within the international community. The Pope also speaks of his hope that the ideals of freedom and justice, which guided the founding fathers of the Unites States of America, may continue to shine out as the nation progresses.
 
Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. also made a brief comment on the re-election of President Obama. “As we all know”, he said, “the U.S. president has an immense responsibility, not only in his own country but also towards the rest of the world, given the role the U.S.A. plays at an international level”.
 
“For this reason we hope that President Obama will respond to his fellow citizens’ expectations, serving law and justice for the good and development of all people, and respecting essential human and spiritual values while promoting a culture of life and religious freedom“.

Good luck with that, of course. The papal point is made, however: Catholic eyes are watching in this area. From Cardinal Dolan:

Dear President Obama,
 
In my capacity as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I write to express my congratulations on your re-election as President of the United States. The people of our country have again entrusted you with a great responsibility. The Catholic Bishops of the United States offer our prayers that God will give you strength and wisdom to meet the difficult challenges that face America.
 
In particular, we pray that you will exercise your office to pursue the common good, especially in care of the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn, the poor, and the immigrant. We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom. We pray, too, that you will help restore a sense of civility to the public order, so our public conversations may be imbued with respect and charity toward everyone. May God bless you and Vice President Biden as you prepare for your second term in service to our country and its citizens.
 
May God bless you and Vice President Biden as you prepare for your second term in service to our country and its citizens.

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