The US president and the head of the Catholic Church have clashed on a number of key issues. But both men emerged smiling from their private audience, with the president saying he “wouldn’t forget” Pope Francis’ words.
Despite some rather public disagreements on issues ranging from economics to the environment to immigration, US President Donald Trump met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday. Although he has previously criticized some of Trump’s policies as “not Christian,” the pontiff said he would approach the meeting, squeezed into his schedule at the last minute, with an open mind.
“Thank you so much,” Trump could be heard saying before they went into their private audience. “It is such an honor to be here.”
Since Trump announced his presidential campaign, the two men have differed publicly on a number of topics. Pope Francis was a vocal critic of Trump’s plan to bar refugees from coming to the US and to build a wall on the border with Mexico. The pontiff called these policies “not Christian,” and said the job of leaders was to build bridges, not walls. The then-presidential candidate fired back that it was “disgraceful” for Francis to question his faith.