But what's evidence got to do with unsubstantiated claims? So, just last week the Vatican (meaning specifically Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Pontifical Household) put out a statement condemning Joachim as a heretic and, at least implicitly, chastising President Obama for referencing Joachim positively from the stump. Articles here and here. Also, a bit more from Father Cantalamessa here.
But this may, in fact, be a teachable moment. How did Fathern Cantalamessa get his information? From the CNS Blog:
In an e-mail message this afternoon, Father Cantalamessa told me, “Typing ‘Obama Gioacchino da Fiore’ (the monk’s name in Italian) in Google, you will find all the news on which I based my remarks.”This led Father Cantalamessa to go public with his condemnation of Joachim. Yet, it led the CNS blogger/ reporter (Ms. Cindy Wooden) to do this:
Thank you, Ms. Wooden. Just thank you.
In an e-mail message this afternoon, Father Cantalamessa told me, “Typing ‘Obama Gioacchino da Fiore’ (the monk’s name in Italian) in Google, you will find all the news on which I based my remarks.”
In fact, I did that Friday when I first read Father Cantalamessa’s meditation, but since I couldn’t find any real proof that Obama had cited Joachim as an inspiration for his vision of a changed world order, I simply wrote about Father Cantalamessa’s main points.
Getting back to Obama and Joachim this morning, it appears most of the results that turn up in the Google search cite an Aug. 28 or 29 article in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. But searching the newspaper’s Web site, no such article comes up.
The only thing I could think to do next was contact the most serious organization dedicated to studying and promoting the writings of Joachim, the International Center for Joachimist Studies. When I asked if they knew when Obama mentioned Joachim, a spokeswoman told me, “Everyone asks us, but we have no information and we don’t know how this got started. We don’t have on hand any information showing if or when he cited Joachim.”