Over a hundred days after his election, the President of the United States will meet with the Sovereign Pontiff for the first time: a meeting between two men that the media likes to portray as opposed to each other.
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, will be received for the first time for an audience with the Holy Father at the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican on May 24, 2017, at 8:30 a.m., the Holy See announced in a press release on May 4.
The U.S. Head of State will then meet with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for the Holy See and head of Vatican diplomacy, who will be accompanied by Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.
The U.S. President will then fly to Brussels where he will participate in a NATO meeting, before traveling on the G7 Summit, the group of the seven most industrialized Western countries, that will take place in Taormina, Sicily, on May 26 and 27.
This visit will allow the two men to get to know each other. No one has forgotten the pope’s answer to the question asked on February 17, 2016, on his flight back from Mexico. When questioned about the construction of a wall on the Mexican-American border, which was part of the then-candidate to the Republican nomination’s program, the Holy Father declared: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” And when asked what voting advice he had to offer American Catholics, he answered: “I won't inervene [with voting advice]. I simply say: if he says these things, this man is not a Christian”.
Since Donald Trump has moved into the White House, the tune has changed a little. “We will see what Mr. Trump does,” declared Francis in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais on January 22. “We will see what he does and then we will judge”. Within the pope’s circle, according to the Roman correspondent for Le Monde, “the Holy See has adopted a realistic and prudent attitude. It did not wish to immediately join the anti-Trump choir, a choir that it cannot control. They will have to judge case by case. They will have to choose the right subjects and the right moments.”
Weapons of mass destruction are another bone of contention. On Thursday, April 13, the U.S. military declared it had dropped the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal in the eastern Afghanistan, in one of the strongholds of the Islamic State. The new weapon annihilates everything within a 150-meter radius, and is nicknamed the “Mother Of All Bombs” (MOAB).
This drew a reaction from Pope Francis. In an audience with some students on May 6, the Sovereign Pontiff expressed his astonishment at hearing such a weapon called a “mother”. “I was ashamed when I heard the name of a bomb: ‘the mother of all bombs,’” he told them. “A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this device a mother? What is happening?”.
As for the American president, he declared on April 20: “I look very much forward to meeting the pope.” Donald Trump will be able to highlight a number of steps made in the first hundred days of his term that show a change of direction from the openly pro-abortion policies of the previous administration.
He has nominated people openly committed to the fight for life for key positions: Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.
He reinstated the Mexico City Policy that makes it impossible for tax money to subsidize abortions abroad. He put an end to financing the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that is complicit in China's birth control policy, including the use of forced abortion.
On his initiative, the House of Representatives abolished the Obama administration’s provisions that obliged the American states to finance pro-abortion organizations. By repealing Obamacare, the government now redirects taxpayers’ money towards health centers, instead of Planned Parenthood. This latter has, in fact, had most of its federal financing for next year withdrawn.
Lastly, President Trump signed on May 4, 2017, an order protecting the freedom of those who oppose abortion and “gay marriage”: “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced,” he declared. This, despite the fact that President Trump is “fine with” same-sex “marriage” himself.
While these measures have not exactly won over the opinion of the media, they should earn him a favorable welcome from the pope.
Sources: imedia/LeMonde/Bulletin du Saint-Siège/ LifeSiteNews/FSSPX.News 5/11/17