An historic meeting between Pope Francis and President Donald J. Trump took place today at the Vatican in Rome where the two discussed their joint commitment to life, religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
Vatican Radio is reporting on the visit today with the president who was accompanied by his wife, First Lady Melania Trump. The two leaders spent a half hour in conversation behind closed doors in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
“During the cordial discussions, satisfaction was expressed 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,” the Vatican press office reported.
“It is hoped that there may be serene collaboration between the State and the Catholic Church in the United States, engaged in service to the people in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants.”
The discussions allowed the two leaders to exchange views on various themes relating to international affairs and the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue.
Particular attention was paid to the situation in the Middle East and the Protection of Christian communities.
According to the Washington Examiner, the president gave a copy of Martin Luther King’s writings to the pope along with a hand-made bronze sculpture by an American artist.
The president was presented with the pope’s three documents, Amoris Laetitia, Evangelii Gaudium and Laudato Si‘ along with a copy of this year’s World Day of Peace message about nonviolence.
“I signed it personally for you,” the pope said.
Trump replied. “That’s so beautiful.
After meeting with the Pope, the president met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, together with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States or foreign minister.
Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, also accompanied the president on the visit, which marks the third leg of a nine-day presidential tour that has already seen him visit Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine.
After the visit, the president was given a tour of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Meanwhile, Melania Trump, was scheduled to visit Rome’s Bambin Gesù Children’s Hospital, while Ivanka met with trafficked victims who are being cared for by the Sant’Egidio community.
According to The New York Times, the president was pleased with the meeting, saying afterward that the meeting was “fantastic,” and that it was “an honor” to spend time with him.
“He is something,” Mr. Trump said.
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