The Corner

Politics & Policy

A Pope and a President and His Family in Rome

Wednesday morning was the first time I woke up, turned on the television, saw Donald Trump, and was at complete peace.

(Truth be told I’ve taken to watching cable news as infrequently as possible in recently months.)

This morning was his visit to the Holy See to visit with Pope Francis. And it was a supremely civilized one. Such a visit is an official one of heads of state, but it always has the potential to be so much more. It may have been. I pray it was.

President Trump was there with the First Lady and his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, now both administration officials, among others, including the Secretary of State. After meeting with the pontiff, the president could be heard saying: “I won’t forget what you said.” Both he and his wife appeared to be moved by the visit — it would be hard not to be.

Watching early in the morning U.S. times – the cable channels and EWTN, the Catholic channel were covering it live – it all seemed quite respectful, quite warm, quite human. One can imagine for a president who does appear somewhat in over his head, the encounter with a holy man, while official, could have also been a respite. (After all, is it possible that the most used word last week — especially in the media, but also in private conversations by non-politicos “impeachment”?)

Some of the photos seem to suggest as much.

Headlines and commentaries in the past — and today — suggest the two opponents. Taking the pope at his word, he wanted to hear the president out. Taking the president and the First Lady at their word — and tweets — there was something more about this day than other days.

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