Trump Will Exchange Views With Pope Francis At Vatican

Cheryl Sanders
May 24, 2017

After his visit to Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites, and to Israel, this is the final leg of the tour of the world's three great religions.

Pope Francis, a Jesuit, values acceptance and kindness at a very high level, meaning that even if President Trump misbehaves, he will likely continue to be received warmly.

Last week, the pope said hed “never make a judgment about a person without hearing him out” when asked about the president. Churchmen, alas, offer more sober sobriquets.

"In this time of great challenges, which require devoted creative fidelity and passionate research, listening and sharing are more than ever necessary if we want our lives to be fully meaningful to ourselves and to the people we meet" he said.

Walls, of course, were the subject of their famous feud.

When Trump vowed to build a border wall between the USA and Mexico, Pope Francis planned a trip to the current wall and posited that any person who builds walls is "not a Christian". But neither man seemed eager to continue the clash.

Trump will be given a tour of the Vatican after he arrives and will then first meet with the pontiff in his library.

President Michael D Higgins is in Rome for a meeting with Pope Francis.

Earlier this month Francis told reporters he would be "sincere" with Trump despite their differences. "Because I think there is a mutual interest to close all the polemics of the past and to start working together", said Massimo Franco, author and political analyst for leading daily Corriere della Sera.


"That's the Mexican government", he said. "We are praying for peace and we are hoping that the meeting went well".

But whenever a head of state comes to the Vatican, there are actually two meetings. Instead, he'd look for areas of agreement.

"There are always doors that are not closed".

In his interview with ANSA, he called the president's anti-climate executive orders "against science" and "against what the pope says".

That's a slight misunderstanding of typical meetings between the Vatican and politicians, said Massimo Faggioli, a professor of Catholic history at Villanova University.

"I say this to the Chinese Catholics: Let us raise our gaze to Mary our Mother so that she may help us discern God's will regarding the concrete path of the church in China and sustain us in receiving his loving plan with generosity", the pope said.

This is just one of the issues on which the pope and the president do not see eye to eye. He and Trump both are effective at using the media.

"They are both outsiders, both survivors of big challenges", Faggioli said. But from the Vatican's point of view, what they care about is how much influence is this ambassador going to have in the administration?

In late 2013, Trump said he saw echoes of himself in the new pontiff.


MASSIMO FRANCO: Trump and the pope are against terrorism, of course, but I think that the approach of the pope is more on the causes, on the source of Islamic terrorism.

Pope Francis warned against tyranny a few days before Trump won the election.

What will they talk about? .

Trump's daughter Ivanka was expected to take part in a round table on human trafficking at the Community of Sant'Egidio, a Catholic charity.

Trump's visit to the Vatican has been met with a number of smaller protests.

Officials from the other six nations have been alarmed by some of Trump's statements including his support for trade protectionism, criticism of climate change policies, and anti-migrant rhetoric.

The elephant in the room will be the president's planned border wall with Mexico. Income inequality is a serious concern for the pope.

Another protester described Trump as "the essence of all the worst things", saying that people like Trump "should not be met. President, hold on, or please think again'".

The meeting will last scarcely more than an hour. "The Holy Spirit will help him", that same source stated. For instance, church leaders provided crucial connections between the United States and Cuba as they sought renewed relations. The US leader has already held meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials, as well as the Arab leaders who attended the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh over the weekend. Her husband, Newt Gingrich, is one of the strongest advocates of right-wing politics in the United States, and that could pose a challenge to a Vatican City that has seen a decidedly progressive tint under Francis. "Was it warm or cool?"


Pope Francis dedicated his Laudato Si encyclical to climate change and called it "a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation". If the Pope does decide to respond, he has a pretty big pulpit - and Twitter following - of his own.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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