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Rome Reports

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Political expert: Trump's strategy is to keep the pope at a distance

With only six weeks before Trump visits Italy for the G7 summit in Sicily, Vatican officials state that he has not asked to meet with Pope Francis.  This expert in political science and international affairs at John Cabot University in Rome explains why he thinks this is. DR. MICHAEL D. DRIESSEN John Cabot University "What I think Trump's strategy is when it comes to the pope is to keep the pope at a distance. Don't anger him. And do all sorts of political policies, which I think he knows most Catholics would be in favor of. â? This distance would definitely be noticed, since Pope Francis has met with countless political and religious leaders from around the world during the three years of his pontificate.  DR. MICHAEL D. DRIESSEN John Cabot University "Trump is an unpredictable president, his policies are unpredictable, and so is the pope. So the pope could do something in an unpredictable way that could cause an unpredictable response from Trump.â? Trump would be the first U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt not to pay a visit to the pope during his first trip to Italy. However, Vatican officials are still waiting to see if he reaches out at the last minute to join the long list of American leaders who have all come to personally meet the leader of the Catholic Church. MB AA/RR -SV -Pr Up: FV