Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

'He Is Something': Trump Visits Pope Francis At The Vatican

Heather Davidson | 25 May, 2017, 01:29

They are stylistic opposites, one a bombastic tycoon-turned-president, the other a famously modest pope.

The two feuded publicly over Trump's immigration policy during the campaign.

The first news report I heard this morning on the meeting between the president and the pope was on radio: WCBS said reporters were taking note of the fact that President Trump smiled but Pope Francis did not. But the visual contrasts don't stop there - an Associated Press photo of the Trump family next to Pope Francis seems to epitomize the old adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words".

"Under your leadership, may America's stature continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need, who, like Lazarus, stand before our door", the message read.

Meeting face-to-face for the first time, the two leaders sidestepped profound differences over a string of issues ranging from the environment to the plight of migrants and the poor.

It also opposes his plan to build a wall on the US border with Mexico. The pontiff has been a vocal advocate for aiding refugees, particularly those fleeing the violence in Syria, deeming it both a "moral imperative" and "Christian duty" to help.

That prompted a fierce response from President Trump, who fired back by calling Francis' judgmental comment "disgraceful".

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Her outfit choices on this trip are so far in line with former first lady Michelle Obama, who also donned a black veil while meeting Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. Over the weekend he stopped in Saudi Arabia, where he delivered an address to Muslim leaders, and Monday through Tuesday he visited Israel and the West Bank and met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

President Trump and Pope Francis have not always seen eye to eye. He said it's an olive which is a symbol of peace. When asked about meeting Francis, Trump said it had gone very well. "We're loving Italy very much", Trump said at that stop. "It's their first meeting, and I think they will both try hard to find some common ground". He and Trump both are effective at using the media. He will tell me what he thinks.

He will then hold his first summit with the 28 leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance, which he dubbed "obsolete" on the campaign trail, where he is expected to press them to join the US-led coalition against Islamic State in the wake of the Manchester attack in Britain.

Their tour guide was Barbara Jatta, the first woman director of the Vatican Museums.

Following the talks, Trump gifted Francis with a collection of the five books written by Martin Luther King, including a signed 1963 copy of "The Strength of Love", a piece of the MLK monument and a bronze sculpture, as reported by EFE. Trump will also view the Sistine Chapel.

But behind the scenes, Melania Trump worked to ensure the President was prepared. Other presidents and popes have also shared goals, including Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paull II who were united in their hopes for the defeat of communism.

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