No Trump-Pope Francis meeting planned during trip to Italy: report

 No Trump-Pope Francis meeting planned during trip to Italy: report
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President Trump has not requested a meeting with Pope Francis during an upcoming trip to Italy, according to a new report.

“The situation can change, but [there] are only six weeks left, so it looks unlikely at this point,” a diplomat speaking on the condition of anonymity told Reuters.

“The ball is on their side,” another Vatican source added. "We have received no request.”


A senior Vatican diplomatic source confirmed that the White House has not approached the Holy See about a meeting with Francis, according to the news service.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican reportedly declined to comment on the meeting, which would be the first between the two men.

Trump is due in Sicily May 26 and 27 for the G7 Summit, an annual meeting of the seven largest advanced economies.

Vatican officials have previously indicated they were open to arranging an audience with Francis for Trump.

Past presidents have made meeting the Catholic leader a major priority.

Former President Obama had three papal meetings during his time in office, including two with Francis.

Francis last visited in the U.S. in 2015 and has no immediate plans to return, Reuters noted.

Trump, a Presbyterian, repeatedly sparred with Francis during the presidential campaign last year.

Francis criticized Trump’s faith in February 2016, pointing to the Republican’s calls for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not Christian,” the said. "This is not the gospel.”

Trump responded, saying Francis should not be able to question his religious beliefs.

“No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion and faith,” he said during a rally in South Carolina.