Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Pope and Trump meet in quiet diplomacy


With more than 2,900 retweets, journalists and other social media users are having a field day, turning the photo into a meme. The two feuded publicly over Trump's immigration policy during the campaign.

And even the pontiff's congratulatory message sent to mark Trump's inauguration contained a sly reference to their disagreement, as the pope wrote that he hoped the United States' global stature would "continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need". If anything, the differences sharpened in the days leading up to Trump's visit to the Vatican on Wednesday, with Trump still dithering on whether to keep the USA within the Paris Climate Agreement, which Francis supports.

Their discussion was private, but after their meeting Francis handed him his book on the importance of protecting the environment and holding man largely responsible for climate change. This led to a news cycle where, I swear to God ("you're going to hell"), people on the Right like Sean Hannity, basically asked who the Pope is to say someone is not Christian.

Tillerson later told reporters that climate change did not come up in the meeting with the pope, but that US officials had "a good exchange on the climate change issue" with Cardinal Parolin.

Human rights groups had urged Francis to raise U.S. use of the death penalty and the issues of torture and targeted assassinations with Trump. The pope, the son of an Italian family who migrated to Argentina, has repeatedly called for compassion to be shown to refugees and migrants.

Francis had criticized then-candidate Trump in February 2016, after Trump unveiled a key goal of his presidential campaign: walling off the USA border with Mexico.

Trump and Francis clashed previous year when the the pontiff said a man who thinks about building walls and not bridges is "not Christian".

The pope told Trump he signed the message "personally for you".

Trump says he never mentioned Israel to Russians
On Friday and Saturday, the president is back in Italy, specifically on the island of Sicily, for the Group of Seven summit. In the Gaza Strip, some Palestinians trampled photos of the U.S. leader and even burnt an effigy of Trump.

Tillerson also told reporters he did not know what Trump meant when he told the pope, "I won't forget what you said". While all popes release encyclicals during their tenure, Francis is the first to address climate change in one of his missives. "I think they were encouraging continued participation in the Paris accord".

The ice began to thaw after they exchanged gifts, however. "And that's a hard balancing act".

Afterwards, the U.S. first couple were given a private tour of the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. "Potica?" Pope Francis asked Melania, in a reference to a calorie-laden cake that comes from her native Slovenia and is pronounced "potteezza". She repeated "potizza", which is a Slovenian baked treat.

First lady Melania Trump, in white, and Ivanka Trump, left, leave the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City on May 22.

The pope handed out tokens, in white boxes, to each member of the delegation.

Francis smiled faintly as he greeted Trump outside the study and was not as outgoing as he sometimes is with visiting heads of state.

Trump's gift to Francis was a boxed set of the writings of Martin Luther King Jr., who Francis has expressed admiration for in the past.

When saying his goodbyes with Francis, Trump said: "Thank you, thank you". I was raised "church multiple times a week or you're going to hell, if you ever masturbate you're going to hell, if you even think something less than good, you might as well have done it. and also you're going to hell" Catholic.

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