In a season of tension between the U.S. Catholic hierarchy and President Barack Obama, the Vatican newspaper has offered some unexpectedly upbeat reviews of the president's first four months in office.
With Pope Benedict XVI expected to meet Obama in early July, it's worth a closer look at what L'Osservatore Romano has had to say, and what it finds so promising about the new U.S. administration.
The newspaper enjoys a degree of editorial independence, especially under its new editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, so its opinions cannot be read as formal Vatican policy statements.
But it describes itself as "at the service of the thinking of the pope" and in practice works closely with the Vatican Secretariat of State. If its myriad front-page articles on Obama were going in the wrong direction, one can be sure that the editors would feel a swift tug on the reins.