After years of strained relations between the Obama administration and Catholic Church, U.S. President Barak Obama met with Pope Francis for the first time on Mar. 27, 2014.
This meeting will help two of the world’s most powerful leaders find common ground.
The goal of the meeting is to focus on areas Obama and the Pope have in common, and tread carefully upon topics in which they disagree, reports CNN.
“The President looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” the Office of the Press Secretary said in a statement.
Both leaders want to help the poor and working classes, as well as ease the plight of immigrants. But, they disagree on abortion, same-sex marriage and contraception, reports the New York Times. Experts say it is unlikely Pope Francis will bring up these politically charged topics.
He will instead use the 52-minute session to cover common ground.
This meeting may also help boost Obama’s domestic popularity. According to CNN, Pope Francis’ approval rating hovers in the 80 per cent range, whereas Obama has only about 40 per cent of the American public’s support.