President Obama And Pope Francis Meet For First Time

President Obama and Pope Francis met for the first time Thursday morning.
Posted at 8:30 AM, Mar 27, 2014

The president and the pope met for the very first time on Thursday. 

CNN has the moment — President Obama and Pope Francis shake hands. 

OBAMA: "Thank you so much for seeing me." 

The outlet notes... "The tete-a-tete was an opportunity for a reset of sorts between the Obama administration and Catholic leadership following several years of strained relations."

As you can imagine, these meetings are made far in advance, but WCAU points out it would be beneficial for them both. 

"The last Democratic President who visited a pope, it was Bill Clinton visiting Pope John Paul II, and they actually developed quite a warm relationship,one might wonder if that will be the same case here."

​After the private meeting, the president and the pope met with other important figures, like Secretary of State John Kerry, along with Italian and American dignitaries.  

​​"A lot of Washington officials will tell you of all the trips they take, when they get to meet the pope, this is the visit that they all remember." (Via WPVI)

The meeting is a change of pace for Obama's week-long foreign tour which focused on Ukraine the last several days.

"The pope is very, very popular. Mr. Obama's approval ratings, however, are lagging, so this may be a chance for the president to have some of that aura rub off on him."

This is Obama's second time to the Vatican. 

In a statement from the White House, it says Obama looks forward to "discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality."

Overall, this meeting seems to be to keep the peace, and talk about topics on which both men agree. However, early speculation indicated the topics of health care and contraception might be mentioned.