The New York Times looks at the different approaches toward President Obama of the Vatican and the U. S. Catholic Bishops. Good analysis from Fr. Drew Christensen (who has much experience working in the Middle East):
“The pope is trying to engage America’s capacity for good in the world at a time when it’s really critical,” said the Rev. Drew Christensen, editor in chief of America magazine, a national Jesuit weekly, who worked for the church for many years in international relations.
“You’ll never get Rome to admit it,” Father Christensen said, but the Vatican has a different approach than the American bishops to working with governments. “Some of the critics of the president think you have to be at war, and the pope is saying, there’s a different way to proceed here and it’s very essential to the church’s approach, in that what you want is consensus.”