VATICAN CITY (CNS) — If U.S. President Donald Trump requests a meeting with Pope Francis in May, the Vatican will try to make it work, a top Vatican official said.
“Pope Francis always is willing to welcome heads of state who ask,” Archbishop Angelo Becciu, Vatican substitute secretary of state, told the Italian news agency ANSA April 19.
Trump is scheduled to be in Taormina, in southern Italy, May 26-27 for a summit of G-7 leaders and representatives of the European Union.
Sean Spicer, White House spokesman, told reporters April 19, “We will be reaching out to the Vatican to see if a meeting, an audience with the pope can be accommodated. We’ll have further details on that. Obviously, we would be honored to have an audience with his holiness.”
Every U.S. president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has visited the Vatican to meet the pope. Eisenhower met St. John XXIII at the Vatican in December 1959.
But Woodrow Wilson was the first sitting U.S. president to meet a pope at the Vatican. He met with Pope Benedict XV in 1919 while on a European tour after World War I.
The visits are a mix of policy discussions and protocol, very civil and even warm affairs where, however, serious policy differences are raised. Depending on the president, his party and policies, the divergences run from issues related to the sacredness of the unborn to the obligation to care for creation and to welcome refugees.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: