Obama to pay visit to Pope
January 14th, 2014
12:48 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama to pay visit to Pope

(CNN) – President Barack Obama plans to soon meet with Pope Francis for the first time.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the President was “looking forward” to visiting the popular new leader of the Roman Catholic Church at the Vatican.

Kerry did not say when the trip would take place.

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The White House said it had no specific travel announcements to make, but that Obama “very much looks forward to meeting Pope Francis at some point in the near future.”

Kerry, a Roman Catholic, met with Vatican leaders on Tuesday to discuss foreign policy and economic issues, including Francis’ outspoken stance on income inequality worldwide.

He did not meet with the Pope.

Obama has cited the Pope’s inequality stance himself in an economic address in December.

“Across the developed world, inequality has increased,” Obama said. “Some of you may have seen just last week, the Pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length. ‘How can it be,’ he wrote, ‘that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?’”

Obama met Francis’ predecessor, Benedict XVI, in 2009, six months after taking office. That meeting, which took place at the Vatican, was Obama’s only meeting with a Pope.

His presidency has been marked by some high-profile clashes with the Catholic Church, including over abortion and contraception.

But Francis’ approach to world economic issues is widely seen as more in line with Obama’s own approach than that of Benedict, who stepped down last year.

In an MSNBC interview last year, Obama called Francis an "extraordinarily thoughtful and soulful messenger of peace and justice."

"I haven't had a chance to meet him yet,” Obama said. “But everything that I've read, everything that I've seen from him, indicates the degree to, to which he is trying to remind us of those core obligations."

Filed under: John Kerry • President Obama
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Dave Harris

    Republicans want people to be poor and stupid, because that's their voting base. Anyone who wants to help poor people must be a communist.

    January 14, 2014 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Truth Monger

    Just another lavish vacati0on for Michelle at the taxpayers" expense...............

    January 14, 2014 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
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