Today, President Obama went to the Vatican for the first time since Francis was elected Pope a year ago. The President presented Pope Francis a gift of seeds today, perhaps suggesting his Administration wants a re-boot in relations with the Vatican. Can their shared emphasis on the plight of the poor overcome Obama's differences with American Bishops and give him a political boost at home? Tomorrow, the President will visit a more uncertain ally: Saudi Arabia, which fears that a nuclear deal might lead to detente with its regional adversary, Iran. With the US less dependent on Saudi oil, will this week's visit reaffirm a traditional tie or provide fresh insight into the new world order?
The President, the Pope and the Saudis
- Allen on the growth of Catholicism in the Muslim world
- Allen on the meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama
- Allen's 'Against the Tide: The Radical Leadership of Pope Francis'
- Cardinal Burke on President Obama's policies being hostile to Catholicism
- President Obama's audience with Pope Francis
- Ross' LA Times op-ed on the President's challenge, Saudi visit
- Ross' 'Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East'
- Vatican statement on meeting of Pope Francis and President Obama
- Winters' 'Left at the Altar: How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats'
- Winters on the Pope's exhortation on income inequality
- Wright's 'Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World'
- John Allen - Boston Globe - @JohnLAllenJr
- Michael Sean Winters - National Catholic Reporter - @MichaelSWinters
- Dennis Ross - Washington Institute for Near East Policy - @washinstitute
- Robin Wright - contributing writer at The New Yorker magazine, and a joint fellow at U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson Center - @wrightr