While Barack Obama says meeting Pope Benedict XVI was a “great honour,” that didn’t stop the two from disagreeing on topics such as abortion and stem cell research. Pope Benedict’s gift to Obama—a Vatican document on bioethics that condems the use of stem cells, in vitro fertilization, and cloning—underscored the difference of opinion between the two. According to the pope’s secretary, the Rev. Georg Ganswein, the document was meant to “help the president better understand the position of the Catholic church.” (Obama said he would read it on his flight to Ghana.) However, the two found common ground on two major subjects: both agreed on the need to step up efforts to broker peace in the Middle East and create a Palestinian state, and they shared a concern that the brunt of the financial meltdown has been borne by the world’s poor.
Obama meets the Pope
The U.S. president comes away from the meeting with some reading material