President Obama to meet Pope for first time

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(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.

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.”

By Kevin Liptak with contribution from Jim Acosta.

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      • TheCaptain

        Obama love Allah not Jesus, he used that ploy to get your vote, sorry you fell for it! Patriotism would be if we rose up and got the traitor IMPEACHED! America first foreign born lying president last! AMERICA!

      • Wayne Finn

        Why would the GOP throw the Pope under the bus? The GOP has generally tried to block all of the policies and everything that Obama is doing that goes against the Pope’s wishes. They are more on the Pope’s side than Obama and his liberals. Most of us are Patriots, our Patriotism is to work against supposed President’s like this who constantly lie and cheat America. How many things has the President done that goes against the wishes of most Americans and then lies and states that most of America wants what he wants. Even though his approval numbers decline and most polls taken from places other than the Liberal pool back it up. Patriotism isn’t blindly following someone who smooth talked, lied and cheated his way to Presidency just because he wears the title. Sometimes being a Patriot is standing up for whats right and not what is shoveled down your throat, or what someone else tells you that you should believe. The only thing that could mess up this country any worse is if Hillary got elected and continued on this path to self destruction.

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