Trump and pope focus on peace

The Pope blessed a rosary for the first lady, traded jokes with the first daughter, Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, and handed out tokens to the President's delegation.

The cameras and a clutch of reporters followed as the Pope welcomed Trump into his private study, where the mood appeared stiff at first - as though the war of words the two men had previously exchanged hung over the room. It is considered customary for women to wear a veil and a black ensemble as a sign of respect when they meet the Pope.

A meeting between The Pope and the US president has sparked inspiration for a new series of memes.

Outside the Quirinale Palace, the Italian president's official residence, where a small crowd mostly of tourists gathered to catch a glimpse of Trump in the distance down a closed avenue, 50-year-old Ragna, a Danish banker, said she did not really know why she was waiting.

The pope gave the president a large medal by a Roman artist, inscribed with an olive branch - a symbol of peace.

Mr Trump gave the pope a boxed set of five first-edition books by murdered U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

Mr Trump responded: "We can use peace". "I think the Pope and the president actually have some pretty divergent approaches to both, which would have for a very interesting conversation". Trump replied that a religious leader capable of voicing such sentiments was "disgraceful".

Donald Trump has met the Pope in Rome on the next stop on his tour.

With his poll numbers at a record low for a new president, Trump may be hoping for a boost after rubbing shoulders with the man who made the cover of Time and Rolling Stone and is credited with bringing many American Catholics back to the Church. "I think they were encouraging continued participation in the Paris accord".

Trump's stance on these issues "violates the sanctity of life that people of all faiths and none hold so dear", said Maya Foa, director of the British judicial rights group Reprieve.

In a amusing moment, Pope Francis spoke Italian as he asked First Lady Melania Trump, "What are you feeding him, potica?".

According to the BBC, Ivanka and Melania donned black dresses and veils for the meeting with Pope Francis.

"Pope Francis' political and pastoral priorities do not line up easily with those of the Republican Party in general and Trump in particular", said the Rev. James Bretzke, a professor at Boston College.

"Potica, yes", the Slovenian-born first lady said with a laugh before stepping aside.

Trump, the 13th president to visit the Vatican, also toured the Sistine Chapel. Climate change activists projected the words "Planet Earth First" on the massive dome of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Tuesday night, and protests are expected when he attends a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels and a G-7 gathering in Sicily. But the timing Wednesday was tight as Francis had his weekly Wednesday general audience.

  • Leroy Wright