News / Europe

Obama, Pope Francis to Meet in March

Pope Francis meets ambassadors to the Holy See, at the Vatican, Jan. 13, 2014.
Pope Francis meets ambassadors to the Holy See, at the Vatican, Jan. 13, 2014.
President Barack Obama will have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on March 27. 

A White House announcement said the president looks forward to discussing their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality.   

Increasing inequality in the United States and globally has been a major issue for the president, and the focus of at least two major speeches since 2011.

In a speech in Washington, DC in December, he said the U.S. economy has become "profoundly unequal" with the economy doubling in size since 1979, but most income growth going to a fortunate few.

And he noted a remark by Pope Francis.

"This trend towards growing inequality is not unique to America’s market economy," he said. "Across the developed world, inequality has increased.  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 has commented on other remarks Pope Francis has made since he was elected pontiff last year.

On the issues of abortion, homosexuality and contraception, Pope Francis last year, in an interview with the Italian Jesuit journal, voiced frustration that the Church had "locked itself up in small things [and] small-minded rules."

In a CNBC interview last October, Obama said he was "hugely impressed" by the pontiff's remarks.

"He seems somebody who lives out the teaching of Christ, incredible humility, a incredible sense of empathy to the least of these, to the poor.  And he is also somebody who is I think first and foremost thinking about how to embrace people as opposed to push them away," he said.

In 2009, President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited the Vatican for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI.

Obama's European trip will also include the Nuclear Security Summit being hosted by The Netherlands March 24 to 25.

The first was hosted by Obama in 2010.  The White House says leaders meeting in The Netherlands will highlight progress made to secure nuclear materials and commit to future steps to prevent nuclear terrorism.

Obama will also attend the U.S.-EU Summit in Brussels and meet with Belgian officials and the NATO secretary general.

In Italy, President Obama will meet with President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Enrico Letta.  

Obama and Prime Minister Letta held wide-ranging talks at the White House this past October, covering trade, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid