ROME (JTA) — President Obama’s speech in Cairo introduces "an element of hope onto the global horizon," the chief Vatican spokesman said.
Speaking on his weekly television broadcast over the weekend, Father Federico Lombardi said, "The undoubted political weight of the United States has been clearly committed toward some objectives that are certainly crucial for peace in the world."
Among these were "the dedication to the solution of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians; the affirmation not only of the necessity of nuclear non-proliferation, but more radically of the nuclear disarmament of all nations; and then the wider framework of religious freedom, of the dignity of women, of democracy and the development of peoples."
In the past, the Vatican has sharply criticized Obama’s pro-choice stand on abortion.
Obama will be in Italy July 8-10 for the G8 summit, but there has been no confirmation to the speculation that he will request an audience with Pope Benedict XVI.