Vatican Newspaper Pleasantly Surprised by Obama's First 100 Days

The paper says Obama has not confirmed its fears on embryonic stem cell research.

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By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

From all the coverage of the controversy surrounding Barack Obama's appearance next month at Notre Dame, you might think the Vatican sees the president as public enemy No. 1. But an article on the front page of today's Vatican newspaper under the headline "The 100 days that did not shake the world" gives Obama props on embryonic stem cell research and applauds the Democrats' abortion reduction effort.

From the Catholic News Service:

VATICAN CITY (CNS)—The Vatican newspaper said President Barack Obama's first 100 days in office have not confirmed the Catholic Church's worst fears about radical policy changes in ethical areas. . . . "On ethical questions, too—which from the time of the electoral campaign have been the subject of strong worries by the Catholic bishops—Obama does not seem to have confirmed the radical innovations that he had discussed," it said.It said the new draft guidelines for stem-cell research, for example, did not constitute the major change in policy that was foreseen a few months ago."(The guidelines) do not allow the creation of new embryos for research or therapeutic purposes, for cloning or for reproductive ends, and federal funds may be used only for experimentation with excess embryos," it said.It added that the new guidelines "do not remove the reasons for criticism in the face of unacceptable forms of bioengineering" but are "less permissive" than expected.The article saw a positive sign in the recent introduction of the Pregnant Women Support Act, which would help women overcome problems that often cause them to have abortions. It was sponsored by a group of pro-life Democrats."It is not a negation of the doctrine expressed up to now by Obama in the matter of interruption of pregnancy, but the legislative project could represent a rebalancing in support of maternity," the newspaper said.

Doesn't exactly echo the "most pro-abortion president ever" line of antiabortion groups in the United States.