(CNSNews.com) – If you’re expecting Pope Francis to address the Obamacare contraceptive mandate or religious freedom when he visits the nation’s capital on Tuesday, Father Thomas Rosica, adviser to the Vatican, said that won’t happen. In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Rosica said the pope’s “playbook” for the visit will not be “a political manual,” but rather “the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“What I do think is going to happen … is that he's coming as the cardinal said, as a pastor of souls, and his playbook for this visit, the lexicon, if you will, is not a political manual, it's not the handbook of a particular party, it's the gospel of Jesus Christ, which cuts across all divisions, which cuts across all of our categories,” Rosica said.
“But in dealing with those real problems, Father Rosica, one thing about this pope, is that he’s willing to step on feet on all sides of various issues. He's also going to be meeting with President Obama, and I don't have to tell you the Catholic Church is in something of a struggle with the Obama administration about the issue of religious freedom and the debate about the Obamacare mandate when it comes to contraception and insurance coverage of that, birth control by church-related groups. Do you expect him to bring that up with the president?” Fox host Chris Wallace asked.
“No,” Rosica said, “but what I do think is going to happen … is that he's coming as the cardinal said, as a pastor of souls, and his playbook for this visit, the lexicon, if you will, is not a political manual, it's not the handbook of a particular party, it's the gospel of Jesus Christ, which cuts across all divisions, which cuts across all of our categories.
“The beauty of this pope is we can't pigeonhole him. He's a gentleman. He deals with heads of state with great grace and dignity,” said Rosica.
“The visit to the White House, the president and his wife, and the whole team at the White House are doing a very good job, and they have a certain decorum that's required of them at that stage to welcome the pope as the greatest, I should say, not just the great, the greatest moral leader in the world right now, and this is an opportunity for the president and his whole team to welcome him and to listen to the message of a peacemaker,” he added.
“The backdrop of this whole visit is not what's happening in American politics or a presidential campaign. The backdrop is a world steeped in violence and bloodshed and rancor and hatred, and here we have coming to your city, to our diocese, a real prince of peace. If there's any princely title that should be associated with Francis, it's a prince of peace, it's a bringer of peace,” Rosica said.
“When peacemakers come, they upset those who are not at peace. So, if people are going to be upset in any side of the spectrum here, let them look inside themselves and see what those issues are first, because in the presence of Francis, as you know and as I know, you're in the presence of extraordinary goodness, of kindness, of intelligence and of humanity. So, humanity is coming to teach us how to be more human,” he added.