8, 2013. (AP photo/Mohammad Hannon) This image provided by Shaam News Network on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, purports to show mourners next to bodies of victims of an attack on Ghouta, Syria on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network) This image provided by by Shaam News Network on Thursday, Aug.
“It doesn’t mean we agree on every issue, but his voice is one that I think the world needs to hear. He challenges us,” Obama told the newspaper. “He implores us to remember the people, especially the poor, who are affected by the economic decisions we make.” Immigration issues Francis underscored his commitment to the plight of immigrants during a trip last year to the Italian island of Lampedusa, a place where thousands of African migrants desperately fleeing political upheaval and poverty pour onto European shores. Many die in the attempt to cross. Next month, a group of American Catholic leaders, including Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, will follow suit and travel to the U.S.-Mexico border to highlight immigration concerns. On Wednesday, the administration renewed its public call for immigration reform by backing an effort by House Democrats to force a vote on the matter.
The visit capped a three-country European tour dominated by discussion of Russia’s seizure of Crimea. The visit to the Vatican was a break that Obama, looking more upbeat than he has so far on the trip, appeared to welcome. In Washington, Republicans have bristled at Obama’s attempt to affiliate himself with the pope while he battles U.S. bishops. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) invited Francis two weeks ago to deliver a joint address to Congress, which would be the first such speech by the head of the Catholic Church.
The statement said Obama, who was accompanied by Secretary http://www.obamastudentloanforgiveness.net of State John Kerry, was told of the Vatican’s concern about “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection” in the United States. This was a reference to the mandate in Obama’s controversial health care plan which requires employers to cover the cost of contraception in insurance plans. Catholics and members of other religions say the mandate, which is the subject of more than 100 law suits across the United States, is a violation of their beliefs because it forces them to support contraception and sterilization. Obama later told a news conference in answer to a question that the pope “did not touch in detail” on the health care act but that it was discussed more in a separate meeting with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. “I pledged to continue to dialogue with the U.S.
Obama and Pope Francis Meet in Rome
From Afghanistan to the Great Wall of China, here are five incredible videos from around the world this week. More world coverage Kevin Sieff and Sayed Salahuddin Attack, preceded by a car bomb blast, comes just over a week before Afghan presidential election. New analysis alters jetliner search by nearly 700 miles Jia Lynn Yang The shift to a new search area closer to Australia essentially puts the effort back at square one, experts said. With Russian crisis, Merkel goes out on a political limb Anthony Faiola German leader is facing calls for calm at home even as she shows a willingness to get tougher. Secretary of State John Kerry sat at Obamas side for the visit that is the presidents third official meeting with the king in six years. Despite its decades-long alliance with the United States, Saudis royal family has become increasingly anxious in recent years over Obamas nuclear talks with Iran and his tepid involvement in the Syrian civil war.
and European companies that do business with Russia in the connected global economy. He hinted at the potential difficulty in getting agreement with European allies on tougher measures. Possible expanded sanctions “Hopefully we can design sanctions that minimize the impact on American companies or Italian companies and maximize the impact on Russian entities,” Obama said, later adding: “Hopefully we don’t have to use them.” “We’re continually hopeful Russia walks through the door of diplomacy and works with all of us to try to resolve this issue in a peaceful way,” he said. Obama was much more expansive on efforts to help Ukraine, calling the IMF loan agreement announced Thursday “a major step forward” that required political courage because of required reforms aimed at ending a culture of corruption in the nation’s governance and economy. “It’s a concrete signal of how the world is united with Ukraine as it makes tough choices at a difficult time,” Obama said.
Obama’s meeting with Pope Francis was a highlight of a trip through Europe that began Monday. The pontiff is enjoying a level of popularity that far exceeds Mr. Obama’s. According to a Gallup poll published Wednesday, 76% of Americans view the pontiff favorably, compared with 52% for Mr. Obama.