Trump Seeks to Meet Pope Francis in May

US President Donald Trump is reportedly seeking to meet with Pope Francis in May, when the American leader will be traveling to Italy to participate in a meeting of G7 industrial leaders.

Although no plans for a meeting have been announced—and Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said that no formal request for a papal audience had yet been received—White House officials confirmed that the President would ask for a meeting.

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s deputy secretary of state, said: “Pope Francis is always ready to receive heads of state who request an audience.” In Washington, White House press secretary Sean Spice said: “Obviously, we’d be honored to have an audience with His Holiness.”

Speculation that President Trump would not seek to arrange an audience with the Pontiff had arisen in recent weeks, because the White House had not mentioned plans for a meeting and because of perceived tensions between the President and the Pontiff.

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