Just off the phone with a teleconference called by the Catholic Democrats. They had Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro of Connecticut and Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts speaking about Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate and about tomorrow's meeting between the pope and President Obama.
The big question (asked by Michael Paulson of The Boston Globe) was about tomorrow's meeting. Is it symbolism or is it significant?
The representatives were both adamant that this was no mere photo-op.
McGovern said, "In the past there have been symbolic meetings that amounted to no more than photo-ops and nice press releases. But my sense of President Obama is that he doesn't do symbolism. He is not going through the motions. This is man who ran for president with a deep desire to change the world for the better. He is a man with a mission."
"I believe that [Obama] really wants to change things," McGovern said. "And I think this pope, with the encyclical that he has issued has put forward a framework not just for the Untied States to follow but for the rest of the world to follow. …