Author : REBECCA SAVRANSKY
Posted : 05/24/17 the HILL
President Trump met Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday as part of the president’s tour of world religions.
Trump arrived with first lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is also a senior adviser in the White House.
At the beginning of the meeting, Trump said it «is a great honor» to be meeting the pope.
The meeting lasted about 30 minutes, according to Reuters.
After their meeting, the pope gave Trump a medal with an olive branch.
«It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace,» the pope said, through an interpreter, according to Reuters.
«We can use peace,» Trump said in response.
The pope also gave Trump a copy of his 2015 encyclical letter on the environment and climate change.
Trump later said he had a «fantastic meeting» with Francis.
«He is something,» Trump said. «We had a fantastic meeting.»
«We like Italy very, very much, and it was an honor to be with the pope,» Trump said.
The Vatican said following the meeting that both parties felt the same way on their «joint commitment in favor of life and freedom of worship and conscience,» according to The Associated Press.
“It is hoped that there may be serene collaboration between the state and the Catholic Church in the United States, engaged in service to the people in the fields of healthcare, education and assistance to immigrants,» the statement said.
The meeting was long overdue after the two men clashed over a variety of topics, including immigration and climate change.
Following the brief meeting, Trump was expected to meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni