President Donald Trump met with Pope Francis, the famously humble pontiff with whom he has publicly clashed, concluding his tour of the ancestral homes of the world's three largest monotheistic religions.
They are stylistic and strategic opposites, one a bombastic tycoon-turned president, the other a modest though worldly wise pontiff.
President Donald Trump has gifted Pope Francis a first-edition set of writings from Martin Luther King Jr.
The two leaders are expected to discuss issues including global poverty, immigration and climate change on which there will be "legitimate differences", the Vatican official said. Their contrasting worldviews collided early previous year, when Francis was sharply critical of Trump's campaign pledge to build an impenetrable wall on the Mexican border and his declaration that the USA should turn away Muslim immigrants and refugees.
But Trump may have some competition in the year ahead as Pope Francis has big plans to beef up his social media presence, especially in the U.S.
The uncomfortable relationship between the religious leader and elected president is a unique one, but both men are unique in their positions anyway. He called Francis "disgraceful" for doubting his faith.
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At least 22 people were killed when a lone attacker detonated a homemade bomb inside the foyer at the Manchester Arena on Monday night after a concert by USA singer Ariana Grande had ended.
So many young, lovely innocent people living and enjoying their lives, murdered by evil losers in life, Trump said. This just might make him open to a pastor who teaches: "We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it".
However, meeting First Lady Melania Trump later, Pope Francis asked her, "What do you give him to eat, pizza?"
"I will tell him what I think, he will tell me what he thinks, but I never wanted to judge someone before I listen to the person first", the pope said. Both President Trump and Pope Francis have outgoing, warm personalities which will immediately remove whatever tensions might be present at the beginning.
Trump, 70, and Francis, 80, could hardly be more different as people, too.
Though both Trump and Francis are known for their unpredictability, papal visits with heads of state are carefully arranged bits of political and religious theater that follow a specific program, with little room for deviation or unwanted surprises. Trump's administration, meanwhile, is reviewing policies related to climate change and the reduction of green gasses.
In March, Trump signed an executive order dismantling environmental regulations enacted under his predecessor Barack Obama, but the Vatican is hoping Washington will not abandon the worldwide Paris Agreement in 2015 aimed at shifting the global economy from fossil fuels.
After his meeting with the pope, Trump will hold talks with President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. Other presidents and popes have also shared goals, including Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paull II who were united in their hopes for the defeat of communism.
In September 2015, The Washington Post reported that just 45 percent of conservative Catholics in the US had a favorable impression of the pope, which was down from 72 percent a year before.