Pope Francis wishes Trump to be an instrument of peace

During their audience, the Pope spoke to the president in Spanish, something unusual since he commonly uses Italian
Photo: EFE
Vatican City
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Pope Francis wished today that the president of the U.S., Donald Trump, could be an “instrument of peace” when he presented him with an olive tree medal snapped “by the division of war.”

Their meeting lasted for about 30 minutes in the Pope's private library, located on the second floor of the Apostolic Palace.

At the beginning of their conversation, the Pope said: “Welcome!” and the president responded: “Thank you very much, it is a great honor.” During the meeting, Pope Francis spoke in Spanish, an uncommon choice for he usually uses Italian.

Then, the catholic leader excused himself for not dominating the English language and therefore he needed the assistance of an interpreter. Trump thanked him and approached the Vatican's interpreter, Mark Miles.

After the conversation, the American delegation was presented. The First Lady, Melania, as well as Ivanka Trump and the rest of the women wore rigorous black garments with a light lace scarf, or mantilla, as established by protocol.

One by one passed, Jared Kushner, Ivanka's husband; General McMaster, National Security Adviser; Hope Hicks, the White House Director of Strategic Communications; Daniel Scavino, Director of Social Media; and Gary Cohn, Director of the National Economic Council.

After that, the gifts exchange took place at a nearby table. When he explained his present, Trump exclaimed: “This is a gift for you, it is a set of books by Martin Luther King, I think you will like them, I hope you do.”

Francis presented a medal and explained it to the President, saying that it had engraved an olive tree snapped by “the division of war” but that it was held together in some places. “(I give it to you) with all hope that you may become an olive tree to make peace,” he said. Trump answered: “We can use peace.”

The Pope also gave him copies of his three papal documents: “One about family, one about the joy of the gospel, and another about environmental care.” He was referring to the exhortations “Amoris Laetitia” and “Evangelii Gaudium,” and to the encyclical “Laudato Sii.

After the group photo, Francis conversed privately for a few seconds with Trump and Melania. They asked him to bless an object which the First Lady held in her hand.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio accompanied them to the door. Trump's last words were: “Thank you, thank you, I won’t forget what you said.”

Georg Gaenswein, Prefect of the Papal Household, took the president to a meeting with the “second in command,” Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, who was in the company of Paul Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States withing the Holy See.


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