Pope Francis meets with President Donald Trump on the occasion of their private audience, at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool)
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President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican Wednesday, setting aside their clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.Trump, midway through a grueling nine-day, maiden international journey, called upon the pontiff in a private, 30-minute meeting laden with religious symbolism and ancient protocol.The pope told Trump he signed the message "personally for you". Trump said he would read the books.In recent days, Francis and Trump have been in agreement on a need for Muslim leaders to do more against extremists in their own communities.Francis also differs sharply with Trump on the need to combat climate change and economic inequality.Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had a private audience with Francis at the Vatican in 2014 that lasted 50 minutes. The meeting, which concluded Trump's tour of the world's largest monotheistic religions, comes after the president and pope collided head-on early last year, when Francis was sharply critical of Trump's campaign pledge to build an impenetrable wall on the Mexican border and his declaration that the United States should turn away Muslim immigrants and refugees.Trump then called Francis "disgraceful" for doubting his faith.
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