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Obama meets Pope Francis, invites to White House

Vatican City, Mar 28 (): President Barack Obama met Pope Francis at Vatican City on Thursday for the first time and the US President had invited the bishop of Rome to White House.

After visiting Brussels and Netherlands and having three days of talks with the world leaders, the US President had flown to Rome. Barack Obama said meeting Pope Francis first time during his tour to Europe subjugated by the Ukraine crisis was a “great honour”.

His visit to Rome has offered an opportunity to reset all sorts between the Catholic leadership and administration after having strained relations for years.

When Barack Obama arrived at the Vatican City, he and his officials were escorted into a richly decorated hall through Swiss Guard before they were led into a room where Obama and Pope Francis shook hands warmly. The two leaders greeted one another with a handshake and a smile, and posed for photographs before sitting for their talks.

Ever since his election nearly a year ago, the Pope has many times criticised uncontrolled capitalism, the global financial crisis that laid excesses bare, and the increasing gap between poor and rich, even in advanced countries.

Obama has applauded the pope repeatedly for his emphasis and compassion in helping poor, and this meeting could assist to give motivation to few of his initiative back home, like boosting up middle class Americans and assisting low-income Americans to succeed.

Obama said in the interview, in the recent decade, greater trade, commerce and globalisation had raised hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

At the close of the private talks, Barack Obama gifted Pope Francis a traditionally made seed chest containing a variety of vegetable and fruit seeds used in the Garden of the White House.

After meeting the Pope, the US President Obama will meet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and President Giorgio Napolitano. Obama will be escorted by US Secretary of State John Kerry  in Italy.