Donald Trump holds Vatican meeting with Pope Francis

25 May, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Jacqueline Ellis

Memorial's "Stone of Hope" statue in Washington, DC, and a bronze sculpture named, "Rising Above", which the White House said represents "hope for a peaceful tomorrow".

Beyond being one of the most anticipated visits by a head of state, Francis' encounter with Trump was also considered by some Vatican officials as among the most possibly perilous for the pope.

"We can use peace", the president responded.

Francis also gave Trump a signed copy of his 2017 message entitled "Nonviolence - A Style of Politics for Peace" and a copy of his 2015 encyclical letter on the need to protect the world from the effects of climate change.

In 2013, he tweeted that "the new pope is a humble man, very much like me, which probably explains why I like him so much!"

Police said in a statement Wednesday that the officers allowed the action to proceed for "a few moments" given the peaceable nature of the protest.

Trump went on to accuse Mexico of "using the pope as a pawn" and said that "they should be ashamed of themselves".

And while Trump is overseas, problems in Washington grow: a new report implicates White House staffers in some of the questions about how Trump may have tried to shut down the FBI's investigation of Mike Flynn.

President Trump's commitment to fighting extremism and intolerance will win approval from the Pope, as will his determination to bring peace to the Middle East. The red leather-bound booklets to some degree define his papacy and priorities.

President Trump kindly accepted his thoughtful gift.

"He is something", the president later said of his host.

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

The pontiff was then introduced to members of Mr Trump's delegation, including Melania, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as aides Hope Hicks and Dan Scavino.

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Mrs. Trump smiled and chatted with Francis after the two warmly shook hands.

The 29-minute discussion - which was held away from reporters at the pope's request - began on a "somber note", the Guardian reported, and Pope Francis did not exude "his usual warmth and cheerfulness".

President Donald Trump is meeting Pope Francis for the first time.

Trump looked uncomfortable as he entered a small elevator taking him to the third floor of the Apostolic Palace, where he was accompanied by Ganswein and other officials along a frescoed corridor to the pope's private study. They then posed for photographs before a private meeting. It offers the press a chance to witness the body language of the two leaders and listen in as they explain their gifts. Melania and Ivanka wore black dresses and veils, considered traditional and respectful attire for women at the Vatican, though not mandatory.

As they departed, Trump said "good luck" to the Pope, adding: "Thank you, thank you, I won't forget what you said".

The president and pope have not always seen eye to eye.

The pope said a year ago a man who thinks about building walls and not bridges is "not Christian", a sharp reprimand for Mr Trump's vow to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

The 2016 United States presidential campaign saw the two men broadcast dueling messages to the world.

It is unknown exactly what Francis and Trump said to one another during the private portion of their meeting.

Trump is midway through his grueling nine-day maiden worldwide journey.

Later Wednesday, the Vatican is expected to issue a communiqué describing what the two men discussed.

The meeting will last scarcely more than an hour. For Francis, who recently made his own landmark visit to Egypt last month, it was a chance to welcome a second American leader, after President Barack Obama paid his respects in 2014.

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