Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY 2.0

President Trump and Pope Francis will meet at the Vatican on May 24.
Both the Vatican and the White House have confirmed President Trump will visit His Holiness Pope Francis. The two leaders will meet at the Apostolic Palace on Wednesday, May 24 at 8:30 am local time.

According to reports, Pope Francis will meet President Trump at such an early hour because the visit was unexpected, therefore, it will be scheduled around the pontiff’s already planned activities.

During his first foreign trip as President, not only will Donald Trump stop at the Vatican, but also Saudi Arabia, in addition to attending a G7 summit and NATO Sicily gathering.

The Vatican’s announcement also confirmed Trump would meet up with several other key Vatican leaders during his time in the Catholic nation. These individuals will be the Secretary of State His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin and the Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul Gallagher. President Trump’s meeting with the pope will take place much earlier than his discussions with the two state officials.

The agenda of the meeting has not been made public yet, but speculation is that the two leaders will concentrate on how to reconcile religious beliefs and ethics with politics and world events. The reason for this assumption is that Pope Francis and President Trump have disagreed on some issues in the past. These issues include the effect of human activity on the environment, the Mexico-US border, as well as the treatment of immigrants and refugees in America.

Last year President Trump made several campaign promises to his followers, among them that he would build a wall to separate the U.S. from its southern neighbor Mexico. When the Pontiff was asked to comment on the action, he said the proposed measures are ‘unchristian.' Pope Francis explained that a Christian’s mission in the world is to foster peace. Building a wall between two nations could only lead to conflict and mistrust. An official from the Vatican said the comment had not been meant as a personal attack against the current U.S. president. Trump retorted by saying the pope was politically motivated in his sentiment.

The pontiff has expressed numerous times his belief in the environmental impact of human activity on climate. President Trump does not acknowledge the same. The issue of immigrants may come up, with the pope urging acceptance of another nation’s people as a Christian act and Mr. Trump stating that it is not a politically or economically simple decision.

One thing Pope Francis and President Trump may have common ground on is talks on peace. In the period of his service, the pope has always advocated for peace. He called for the abolition of nuclear weapons in promoting peace and condemned violence. Trump advocated for peace when he announced the visit by signing an executive order advocating religious freedom. The role of the church and politicians in promoting world peace may, therefore, be part of the agenda during the state visit.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter