The White House / Casa Rosada

President Obama To Meet Pope Francis During European Tour

The White House has announced that for the very first time, President Obama will pay a visit to Pope Francis.

By John O'Connor | January 21, 2014

The White House has announced that for the very first time, President Obama will pay a visit to Pope Francis. 

The president is scheduled to visit Francis at the Vatican March 27, capping off a European tour that will also include stops in the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. (Via CNN)

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama met with Francis' predecessor Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2009. (Via Euronews

During this trip to Vatican City, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the president hopes to talk about fighting poverty and income inequality — something both he and Francis have been outspoken about. (Via Fox News)

CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante explains the meeting comes at an opportune time for the president.

"It's a chance for him to align himself with the agenda of the very popular new pope at a time when the president's own popularity here at home is at a low point." 

In an interview with CNBC last year, the president himself said he has been "hugely impressed" with the pope's "incredible humility and empathy."

"For any religious leader, that is a quality that I admire, and I would argue for any leader period that's a quality that I admire." (Via CNBC)

The president's other stops in Europe will be for a nuclear security summit and a U.S.-European Union summit. 

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