VATICAN CITY (CNS) — If U.S. President Donald Trump
requests a meeting with Pope Francis in May, the Vatican will try to make it
work, a top Vatican official said.
“Pope Francis always is willing to welcome heads of
state who ask,” Archbishop
Angelo Becciu, Vatican substitute secretary of state, told the Italian
news agency ANSA April 19.
Trump is scheduled to be in Taormina, in southern Italy, May 26-27 for a summit of G-7
leaders and representatives of the European Union.
Spicer, White House spokesman, told reporters April 19, “We will be
reaching out to the Vatican to see if a meeting, an audience with the pope can
be accommodated. We’ll have further details on that. Obviously, we would be
honored to have an audience with his holiness.”
Every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has visited the Vatican to meet
the pope. Eisenhower met St. John
XXIII at the Vatican in December
Wilson was the first sitting U.S. president to meet a pope at the Vatican. He met
with Pope Benedict XV in 1919
while on a European tour after World War I.
The visits are a mix of policy discussions and protocol,
very civil and even warm affairs where, however, serious policy differences are
raised. Depending on the president, his party and policies, the divergences run
from issues related to the sacredness of the unborn to the obligation to care
for creation and to welcome refugees.
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