President Obama has decided that his invited guests for the arrival of Pope Francis next week will include transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, and a nun who criticizes church policies on abortion and euthanasia. The Vatican has objected. It notes that photos taken with the pope might be used to suggest his endorsement of activities he does not approve. [Power Line]
"......the editors of the Washington Post who say:
What struck us as we read about this small controversy is the contrast between the administration’s apparent decision to risk a bit of rudeness in the case of the pope and its overwhelming deference to foreign dictators when similar issues arise.
When Secretary of State John F. Kerry traveled to Havana to reopen the U.S. Embassy recently, he painstakingly excluded from the guest list any democrat, dissident or member of civil society who might offend the Castro brothers.
And when Chinese President Xi Jinping comes to the White House next week, shortly after the pope leaves town, it’s a safe bet that he won’t have to risk being photographed with anyone of whom he disapproves. Chen Guangcheng, the courageous blind lawyer, for example, lives nearby in exile, but he probably won’t be at the state dinner. Neither will Falun Gong activists, democracy advocates or anyone else who might, well, give offense." [Wa Po]