Pope Francis will receive US President Donald Trump in a hearing tomorrow at a meeting they both come with diametrically different opinions on immigration and the environment.
The private audience at the papal palace will begin at 8:30 am Italian time (06:30 GMT) and last not much longer than 20 minutes.
It will be a meeting in which there will also be points in common, such as the rejection of abortion, which Trump made a flag during his political campaign, so he gained some support from Catholics and the Church in the United States.
The divergences between the pope and the US president have been conspicuous, especially with regard to Trump’s anti-immigration policy and the motto “Bridges and not Walls” repeated continually by Francis.
Francisco assured that he will receive Trump without any prejudice and that, like everyone else, he will listen to him and be very sincere with him.
“I never make judgments about a person without listening to him.I will listen to him and say what I think.The important thing in any situation is to look for the doors that are not closed.Go ahead and step by step,” said Francisco on his return from the recent trip To Fátima (Portugal).
The Argentine pontiff had also previously stated that “it was not Christian” to build walls, referring to the promises of the then candidate, while returning from his trip to Mexico.
Trump responded that it was “embarrassing” for “a religious leader to question a person’s faith,” but later he lowered tensions by asserting that the Argentine pontiff is “a wonderful guy.”
The defense of the environment and the fight against global warming, an argument of the first encyclical signed by Pope Francis “Laudato Si”, is also subject to differences, after Trump has annulled the efforts of his predecessor Barak Obama in this regard.
The content of the conversation of the pope and Trump will be known only through the usual and brief communication that will emit the Vatican press office after the meeting, since the US president does not intend to make statements in Italy.
Usually, the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, is responsible for deepening the most important topics of interest to the Church in the later meeting he holds with the Heads of State and Government, and that he will also celebrate with Trump tomorrow.
The meeting with the pope will be completely private and only with the company of an interpreter, although it will be possible to glimpse how the encounter between the two went at the moment of the exchange of gifts and the greetings to the delegation, the most distended of the audience.
Francisco celebrates Wednesday the general audience that begins at 9:30 am Italian time (07:30 GMT) in Piazza San Pietro, so there will be no place for a hearing too long.
Later Trump will meet with the Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, and Secretary for Relations with States, Paul Richard Gallagher.
Meanwhile Melania and Ivanka Trump will visit the Paolina Chapel and the Vatican’s Sala Regia.
After the meeting with the Pope, Trump and the US delegation will visit the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
The US president, who will arrive in the Vatican after visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine, will later go to the Quirinal Palace, headquarters of the Italian Headquarters, to hold a meeting at 11.30 (0930 GMT) with the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella.
Later in Villa Taverna, the residence of the American ambassador and where Trump will be staying, there will be a brief meeting with the Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, in preparation for the G7 summit, which this year takes place in Taormina, Italian island of Sicily.
Trump will leave for Brussels at 13:30 (11:30 GMT) to attend a NATO meeting and meet with EU leaders.