Thursday, 13 December, 2018

'We can use peace': Trump and Pope Francis meet

Ellis Copeland | 25 May, 2017, 03:29

The president gave the Pope a case of books by Martin Luther King Jr., while the Pope gave Trump a medal by a Roman artist inscribed with an olive branch.

"If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS' ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been president", Trump said during the campaign.

Melania and Ivanka Trump wore black veils to meet Pope Francis on Wednesday, following the traditional dress code for private papal audiences at the Vatican.

During the campaign, the Pope appeared to question Trump's commitment to Christian values after he pledged to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

Before the door of the wood-lined elevator closed, a Vatican protocol official was heard quipping to the president that it was not "like Trump Tower in New York".

Francis smiled faintly as he greeted Trump outside the study and was not as gregarious as he sometimes is with visiting heads of state. "'He is something, ' Trump said".

Even when the two were sitting at the pope's desk in the presence of photographers and reporters, the pope avoided the kind of small talk that usually occurs before the media is ushered out.

President Trump had an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace on Wednesday, receiving messages about peace, the environment and immigrants from the religious leader.

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The first lady laughed and said "Yes".

The pope had presented Trump with a medallion engraved with an olive tree, the worldwide symbol of peace.

Thanking the pope for the documents, the president said, "Well, I'll be reading them". The move contradicted President Donald Trump's old criticism of former First Lady Michelle Obama for making a similar decision.

In return, Pope Francis gave Trump three of his writings, which he typically gives to heads of state, including "Amoris Laetitia", "Evangelii Gaudium", and "Laudato Si'" - his 2015 encyclical calling for climate change action.

Trump's softer stance on environmental regulations is at odds with Francis' view that climate change is caused mostly by human activity. "POTUS told the pope 'it's a very great honor.' The pope did not say anything".

"I give it to you so you can be an instrument of peace", he said in Spanish.

The Vatican visit was widely considered to be a bit of a peacekeeping mission, but if we learned anything from the encounter, it's that Pope Fran is absolutely A-1 at throwing shade.

The pair discussed healthcare, education, and immigration, according to a statement from the Vatican.

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