President Obama is visiting the town of L’Aquila for the G-8 summit. The town was hit by a devastating earthquake during Holy Week and the president is supposed to tour the ravaged town as part of the visit.
And, therein we shall find a clue as to how plugged in the White House team is to Vatican sensibilities. Both the Sant’Egidio community and Communione e Liberazione have tents for assisting those who are still suffering from the destructive quake.
Pope Benedict is close to both groups of lay Catholics, especially CL. The women who live with the pontiff and take care of his meals and cleaning the papal apartment are part of the organization’s Memores Domini group, lay women who live the evangelical counsels. If Obama were to make a visit to either or both groups, the word would get back to Pope Benedict before his meeting with the President on Friday. I can’t think of a better introduction. Americans are known for the generosity, and Sant’Egidio and CL are known for their commitment to apostolic work. Commending the work of these two organizations so close to the Holy Father’s vision would be a very pleasant conversation starter.