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Pope Francis receives President Trump: video, full text of Vatican statement

May 24, 2017

Pope Francis received President Donald Trump at the Vatican on May 24 (video).

Following the meeting, the Holy See Press Office released the following statement:

This morning, Wednesday 24 May 2017, the Honorable Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, was received in Audience by the Holy Father Francis and subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by His Excellency Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

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 favour of life, and freedom of worship and conscience. 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 then enabled an exchange of views on various themes relating to international affairs and the promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation and interreligious dialogue, with particular reference to the situation in the Middle East and the protection of Christian communities.

Despite predictions of a clash between the Pope and the President—who had exchanged public barbs in the past, particularly on the issue of immigration—there was no sign of tension during their meeting. The Vatican statement released after the meeting (see above) focused attention on public issues on which the Vatican and the Trump administration are in agreement: the protection of human life and religious freedom.

Pope Francis raised his concern about the environment only indirectly, giving Trump a copy of his encyclical Laudato Si’ as well as his two apostolic exhortations, Evangelii Gaudium and Amoris Laetitia. As he left the apostolic palace, Trump said told the Pontiff that he would “never forget what you said to me.” Later, on his Twitter account, Trump said: “Honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue PEACE in the world.” [original emphasis]

The meeting took place early in the morning, allowing Pope Francis time to prepare for his regular weekly public audience in St. Peter’s Square.

 
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  • Posted by: normnuke - May. 24, 2017 7:41 PM ET USA

    I see nothing in this report that the lying press could add to their smear campaign against our legally and duly elected president. Pope Francis seems to have behaved himself too. A relief all the way around.