In a Thursday afternoon interview with members of various Catholic publications, President Barack Obama defended himself from criticism over his pro-abortion record. He said he supports a conscience clause on abortion but gave a joking response to a question about Notre Dame. According to a National Catholic Register report, Obama talked about his upcoming visit with Pope Benedict XVI and said he looked forward to taking with him about unrelated political issues. Father Owen Kearns, editor in chief and publisher of the Register, said each member of the Catholic press was allowed to ask one question and the most controversial came in regard to Obama’s position on conscience clauses. Kearns told Register writer Time Drake that Obama tried to “dispel the worst” about what pro-life advocates say about his attempts to overturn the additional pro-life conscience protections President Bush put in place.