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Below are excerpts from an excellent essay by Sandro Magister addressing how Barack Obama’s utopian vision resembles that of Joachim of Fiore. Very well done. — W. Winston Elliott, III

There’s a Strange Prophet in the White House

His name is Barack Obama, and his messianic vision resembles that of Joachim of Fiore. At the Vatican, they’ve gone so far as to believe him. Here’s the story of a hoax with a kernel of truth.

ROME, August 23, 2010 – The tempest unleashed in recent days by Barack H. Obama’s statements on the plans of the Cordoba Institute in New York to build a mosque a few steps from the Twin Towers, knocked down on September 11, 2001 by Muslim terrorists, has brought back to the forefront the question of what is the overarching vision of the current president of the United States of America.

In the first instance, on August 13, to the hundred Muslim guests he had invited to the White House to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan, Obama said:

“As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable.”

…Instead of Niebuhr, Obama’s speeches seem to espouse the utopia of a famous medieval monk and theologian: Joachim of Fiore, prophet of an “age of the Spirit” after the previous ages of the Father and the Son, a third and definitive age of peace, of justice, of humanity with no more divisions, not even among religions.

… the resemblance remains between Obama’s rhetoric and the vision of Joachim of Fiore. The theologian and cardinal Henri De Lubac would have had no difficulty in adding Obama to the crowded ranks of the “Spiritual posterity of Joachim of Fiore,” the title of an extensive study he published thirty years ago on the influence that the utopia of that monk has had up until our time, inside and outside of Catholicism.

…”The fact that Joachim’s words have been put in Obama’s mouth is a touch of irony that has every appearance of destiny. The millenarian, Joachimite, ultimately totalitarian impulse eliminates inexorable human finiteness to entrust the salvation of man to man, or at least to the one who shows himself capable of embodying the desire for change. It matters little whether he is a king, a philosopher, a half-saint, or the president of the United States.”

Read complete essay by Sandro Magister.

Books on the topics mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

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