After months of anticipation, Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump finally met at the Vatican Wednesday in a friendly encounter which included an emphasis on protection of life and freedom of conscience.
According to a May 24 Vatican communique, Pope Francis and Trump expressed satisfaction “for the good existing bilateral relations between the Holy See and the United States of America, as well as the joint commitment in favor of life, and freedom of worship and conscience.”
Pope Francis and Trump smiled as they sat down at the Pope’s desk in the papal library. Pope Francis said, “Welcome!” and Trump responded, “Thank you very much, this is such a great honor.”
Smiling, Francis explained that he doesn’t speak English well and needs a translator, but added that he was “very happy to meet” Trump.
After the cameras left the two began the private portion of their conversation, which lasted about 30 minutes. In addition to Pope Francis and Trump, only the Pope’s English translator, Msgr. Mark Miles, was present.
During the “cordial discussions,” the two expressed hope for peaceful collaboration between the government and the Catholic Church in the United States, that it may be “engaged in service to the people in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants,” a Vatican communique on the meeting said.
Pope Francis and President Trump also exchanged views “on various themes relating to international affairs, the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue, with particular reference to the situation in the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities.”
After their formal conversation, gifts were exchanged between Francis, Trump and the president’s official delegation. There were 12 people in his entourage, including First Lady Melania Trump; daughter Ivanka, Trump’s assistant and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his assistant and senior advisor.
Despite their differing opinions on climate change, Pope Francis gave Trump a copy of his environmental encyclical Laudato Si’, as well as copies of his 2015 Apostolic Exhortation on the family “Amoris Laetitia” and his 2013 exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium.”
In addition to the customary gift of these three documents, Francis also gave President Trump a copy of his message for the 2017 World Day of Peace, saying: “I signed it personally for you.” Trump responded that he would be reading them.
The Pope also gifted the U.S. President with a medallion he said symbolized peace and unity, which, after the translator explained in English, he added in Spanish: “Have it so that you become an instrument of peace.” In response, Trump said that “we can use peace.”
On his part, President Trump gifted Pope Francis a set of books by Martin Luther King, Jr., saying: “I think you’ll enjoy them, I hope you do.”
Departing with a handshake, Trump said to Francis: “Thank you, thank you, I won’t forget what you said.”
After the meeting, First Lady Melania paid a visit to the Vatican-owned Pediatric hospital Bambino Gesu, also known as the “Pope’s hospital.”
At the same time, Trump’s daughter and high-profile adviser, Ivanka, will make her way to the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere to meet with the Community of Sant’Egidio to discuss efforts to oppose human trafficking.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.
Thanks Holy Father for allowing the US President inside to visit inside of your WALLED nation-state.
Joe, please! You know that the “wall” at the Vatican is only a small part of the City-State. The entrance to the Vatican is through the large square in front of St. Peter’s. You also know that it goes back to the Middle Ages when all cities were walled for protection from invaders. Sarcasm is fine, but the “walled city” thing has become pretty much fake news.
Perhaps the Pope heard the Donald’s confession. After all adultery, warmongering and misogyny are sins. Hopefully the Donald will take the Pope’s message to heart: work for peace, take the higher path, promote positive civic values and put yourself in service to God instead of your self.
Rash judgment is also a sin.
One can only hope that exactly the opposite happened. It would seem that the Argentinian socialist and now Pope is the problem, not President Trump.
Fred must be a Democrat. The Democrat Party is pro-abortion..
You sure do “judge” Fred don’t you? After eight years of a person who was bent on destroying this country we finally have a man who really loves America, Christians, the police, the military the family unit and you mock and insult him, a real man who calls RADICAL ISLAM out and tells us he will destroy it, NEVER did the prior “person” in the White House ever utter the words RADICAL ISLAM. Perfect President Trump is not, nor are any of us, and as for his lovely wife Melania, she has come out as a Roman Catholic in public.
Hopefully he instructs the Pope about global warming. Even if the U.S. reduced its carbon footprint it would do nothing to help the poor. What would help them is clean coal burning facilities to produce electricity so they could have all the benefits that come with it. It is a well known fact that wealthy countries take care of the environment so as they became richer they would become better stewards of the Earth. As for the rest Pope Francis would say follow your conscience.
Elizabeth, science is true, even if you or I don’t believe it. There is global warming – the facts are there. Some of that global warming, more than in the past eras of warmth, is caused by human behavior. One of the things that we, as humans, do is pollute the air with, in part, our coal plants. Coal is no longer considered a viable source of energy and is being replaced by renewable energy production. It will take time, but … Our President campaigned on helping to save a few coal miner’s jobs OK. It ignores the fact that renewable energy production has created hundreds of thousands of jobs. There is no sin in trying to reduce our carbon footprint. Let us follow our conscience, but also the facts and the science.
Fred: my comments above are based on prayerful discernment rather than rash judgement.
RA: the president’s duty is to protect and defend the constitution- not discriminate against any religious group.
EM: my great grandfather was a cobbler- a vocation which has nearly disappeared due to economic changes. Coal miners have to face the fact that coal is rapidly becoming obsolete. They are not entitled to work in the mines just because their granddaddy did.