News

Obama to meet with Pope Francis in March

Obama to meet with Pope Francis in March

PRESIDENTIAL VISIT: Obama, seen here during a Jan. 17 address, plans to discuss poverty issues with Pope Francis. Photo: Associated Press/Charles Dharapak

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama plans to visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican in March during a trip to Europe, the White House said on Tuesday.

Obama is scheduled to meet with the pope on March 27 in a trip that will include stops in the Netherlands, Belgium and other parts of Italy, it said in a statement.

It will be the first meeting between the two men, who share a focus on addressing the gap between rich and poor.

“The president looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” the White House said.

Pope Francis, who took the helm of the Roman Catholic Church in March 2013, has led an effort to simplify the church and focus on the needy. Known for being frugal, he has appealed to people to help the poor, offered to drive his own car and chosen cardinals to emphasize his concern for poorer nations.

In December, Obama quoted the pope in a speech and pledged to focus his final term in office to tackling the growing gap between rich and poor in the United States.

The trip also marks Obama first official visit to two European Union bodies – the European Council and the European Commission – the White House added. He will be in Brussels on March 26 to meet with presidents of the two institutions.

In the Netherlands, Obama will attend the Nuclear Security Summit to discuss progress in securing nuclear materials and efforts to prevent nuclear terrorism with other world leaders, the statement said.

The president will also meet with Italian leaders in Rome, it said.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Mark Felsenthal and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Cameras and Microphones Could Be Used in Sangamon Co. Trial Coverage

sangamon_county_building_4

There could be extended coverage of Sangamon County's court system coming to a radio or television near you.

in Local

Manar: Rauner Has Changed During Budget Process

manar_ed_funding

One local lawmaker says it's not the same Governor Bruce Rauner talking about the budget now as it was a few months ago.

in Local

State Police, IDOT Give R-E-S-P-E-C-T — and H-E-L-P — to Aretha Franklin

New York premiere of 'Selma' at Ziegfeld Theater - Red carpet arrivals

Featuring: Aretha Franklin
Where: New York City, New York, United States
When: 14 Dec 2014
Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com

Aretha Franklin's spokesman says the Queen of Soul is grateful to the state of Illinois for its help when her tour bus broke down on the way to Chicago.

in Local

Mel Reynolds No-Show for Arraignment

tax

Former U.S. Congressman Mel Reynolds has failed to appear at a scheduled arraignment to enter a plea on federal tax charges.

in Local

Iowa Prisoner Used Pipes to Escape

jail

Authorities say an Iowa inmate later caught in Henry County, Illinois managed to escape from one of the state's most secure cells by sneaking through the building's piping and onto the roof.