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Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids anticipates President Trump and Pope Francis meeting

Pope Francis
Wikimedia | Malacañang Photo Bureau

Since President Eisenhower every U.S. President has met with the Pope. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis meet Wednesday for the first time in a Vatican City ceremony.

What are the expectations heading into this appointment? WGVU spoke with the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

“It doesn’t seem to be they talk a lot about religion. Of course that is a potential topic of discussion with any Pope.” Annalise Laumeyer is Director of Communications with the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. “The common theme tends to be issues that are kind of near and dear to the Pope’s heart. Where can they kind of find a common ground? There are stories, of course, from previous president’s visits that when the United States is involved in a large war the Pope might kind of condemn that war. So it bases on current issues, kind of the current political climate, what’s going on in the world and of course issues near and dear to the Pope’s heart.”

I asked Laumeyer, heading into this meeting what she expects the conversation to revolve around?

“We know some of the issues that Pope Francis has talked repeatedly about. It would be migrants and refugees, persecution of Christians, climate change, and of course, care for the poor and those who are on the margins of society. And so we really expect that the topics tomorrow, or the conversation tomorrow morning between President Trump and Pope Francis, will most likely cover these topics.”

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.