Vatican criticizes Obama for ending funding ban
Published Saturday, January 24, 2009 11:05AM EST
VATICAN CITY - Vatican officials say they are disappointed by President Barack Obama's decision to end a ban on federal funding for international groups that perform abortions or provide information on them.
Msgr. Rino Fisichella, who heads the Vatican's Pontifical Academy for Life, urged Obama to listen to all voices in America without "the arrogance of those who, being in power, believe they can decide of life and death."
Fisichella said in an interview published Saturday in Corriere della Sera that "if this is one of President Obama's first acts, I have to say, in all due respect, that we're heading quickly toward disappointment."
Another top official with the Academy for Life, Msgr. Elio Sgreccia, told the ANSA news agency that the decision deals a harsh blow not only to Catholics but to all people across the world who "fight against the slaughter of innocents."
Obama signed an executive order ending the ban on Friday, reversing a policy adopted early in the Bush administration.