July 10, 2009 (NPR)
President Obama met with Pope Benedict today. Obama apparently had an easier time with pope than he has had with bishops and cardinals in the United States.
According to John Allen, longtime Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter despite the contrasts on some basic issues, there is a lot of common ground between Pope Benedict and Obama.
From the above link:
"They're both in favor of expanded health care. ... They're both in favor of immigration reform. They both favor a multilateral approach to foreign policy and, in particular, they both have, in their ways, reached out to the Islamic world," Allen says, referring to the pope's recent visit to the Middle East and the president's speech in Cairo last month.
Benedict's top priority in interfaith relations is promoting an alliance of civilizations with Islam. Vatican officials were impressed with the president's outreach to Muslims.
On all these issues, Allen says, the Vatican believes the pope and president can do business.
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