Donald Trump hails Vatican meeting with Pope Francis as 'an honour'

The unconventional Republican and the first Jesuit pontiff made for an unlikely pair in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, where Catholic leaders have presided for centuries and American presidents have come for decades.

Trump will be the 13th president to visit the Vatican and, as part of his tour, he will view the Sistine Chapel.

Thanks to Pope Francis and the US first lady, a traditional Slovenian dish is hitting the headlines.

Even when the two were sitting at the pope's desk in the presence of photographers and reporters, the pope avoided the kind of small talk that usually occurs before the media is ushered out.

On the eve of the pope's meeting with Trump, Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of an influential Italian Jesuit journal, noted that the differences between the two were drawing a lot of attention.

Trump traveled to the Vatican with the first lady Melania Trump, his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. It seemed the pope then guessed "potica?" - a Slovenian cake.

And even the pontiff's congratulatory message sent to mark Trump's inauguration contained a sly reference to their disagreement, as the pope wrote that he hoped the United States' global stature would "continue to be measured above all by its concern for the poor, the outcast and those in need".

They are stylistic opposites, one a bombastic tycoon-turned-president, the other a famously modest pope.

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Pope Francis gave Trump a split medallion held together by an olive tree, which his interpreter told Trump is "a symbol of peace". "I hope you do", Trump said. In Israel, Trump reaffirmed his commitment to strong ties with the longtime USA ally and urged Israelis and the Palestinians to work harder toward peace.

"As religious leaders, we are called to unmask violence that masquerades as purported sanctity", Francis said April 28 at Cairo's Al-Azhar, the revered, 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Islam learning that trains clerics and scholars from around the world.

"We can use peace", said Trump.

Trump's softer stance on environmental regulations is at odds with Francis' view that climate change is caused mostly by human activity.

Before parting ways, Trump thanked Francis and said, "I won't forget what you said".

"I signed it personally for you", responded the Pope.

After meeting the pope, Trump went downstairs to meet Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican foreign minister.

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