DAILY CATHOLIC MONDAY February 8, 1999 vol. 10, no. 26
NEWS & VIEWS
CLINTON AT PRAYER BREAKFAST CALLED DISAPPOINTING
WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The National Clergy Council on Thursday decried President Bill Clinton's remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, saying his remarks were disappointing and charging he criticized some religious groups.
The Rev. Rob Schenk, president of the 4,500-member group that includes clergy from Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, said Clinton missed an opportunity to tell the nation of the lessons he has learned over the past year. Clinton has admitted to having an extra-marital affair with a young employee and then lying to his staff and the nation about it. He has also been impeached on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury.
"Instead, the President skirted the real issue that was on everyone's mind, and engaged in political rambling, and even some criticism of certain religious groups," Schenk said. "He missed his golden opportunity. It was disappointing." In an appeal for reconciliation, Clinton said: "Throughout history, people have prayed to God to aid them in war. I do believe that even though Adolf Hitler preached a perverted form of Christianity, God did not want him to prevail."
He added, "But I also know that when we take up arms or words against one another, we must be very careful in invoking the name of our Lord. The Almighty has his own designs, and all we can do is pray to know God's will."
Schenk has held criticism for Sen. Joe Lieberman,
D-Connecticut, who introduced Clinton at the breakfast,
calling Lieberman's remarks "political bolstering."
Lieberman prayed for Clinton, saying: "Help him in the work
he is doing with his family and his clergy. Lord, we pray
that you will not only restore his soul and lead him in the
path of righteousness for your name's sake, but help us join
with him to heal the breach, begin the reconciliation and
restore our national soul."
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NEWS & VIEWS