ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Saturday he would be “sincere” with U.S. President Donald Trump over their sharp differences on subjects such as immigration and climate change when the two hold their first meeting at the Vatican later this month.
But the pope also told reporters aboard a plane returning from Portugal that he would keep an open mind and not pass judgment on Trump until first listening to his views at their meeting on May 24.
“Even if one thinks differently we have to be very sincere about what each one thinks,” Francis said, adding he hoped to find “an at least partly open door” for dialogue with Trump so that they could contribute to the cause of world peace.
Last year, in response to an answer about then-candidate Trump’s views on immigration and his intention to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, Francis said a man with such views was “not Christian”.
Trump and the pope also disagree strongly about climate change. Trump signed an executive order dismantling Obama-era environmental legislation.
Francis has made defense of the environment a key plank of his papacy, strongly backing scientific opinion that global warming is caused mostly by human activity.
Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Gareth Jones