Why Trump and Francis Diverge on Saudi Arabia

The Vatican Opposes Riyadh's Regional Dominance

Pope Francis talks with U.S. President Donald Trump during a private audience at the Vatican, May 2017.  Alessandra Tarantino / REUTERS

The meeting May 24 between two opposing titans, U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, attracted attention mainly for the stylistic and substantive differences between the two men, not because anything serious was expected to come out of their abbreviated 30-minute encounter. Indeed, considering past heated exchanges between the Pope and Trump, it might seem surprising the Vatican was added to the president’s whirlwind itinerary at all. In February 2016, Francis implicitly challenged the then-presidential candidate’s faith by telling reporters that “a person who only thinks of building walls…and not building bridges is not Christian.” Trump responded by calling the Pope’s comments “disgraceful,” only to hear Francis repeat a new version of the charge just a few months ago. But throughout his papacy, Francis has urged encounter and dialogue, so it is in character that he agreed to look for doors “at least a little bit open…

Loading, please wait...

To read the full article

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.