Pope Francis is to meet President Barack Obama when he makes his first visit to the US in September, reports The Catholic Herald.
President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama, will welcome the Pope to the White House on September 23.
“During the visit, the President and the Pope will continue the dialogue which they began during the President’s visit to the Vatican in March, 2014, on their shared values and commitments on a wide range of issues,” said a White House statement issued today.
Those issues, it said, include “caring for the marginalised and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.”
The statement added: “The President looks forward to continuing this conversation with the Holy Father during his first visit to the United States as Pope.”
When they first met last year, Pope Francis received the President at the Vatican for a discussion that touched on several areas of tension between the Church and the White House, including religious freedom and medical ethics.
During an unusually long, 50-minute meeting, the two leaders discussed “questions of particular relevance for the church in [the USA], such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection as well as the issue of immigration reform,” the Vatican said in a statement afterwards.
Pope Francis to visit White House during trip to the US (The Catholic Herald)