MIAMI (CBSMiami)- President Donald Trump called it an honor of a lifetime to meet with Pope Francis and added that he leaves the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue peace in our world.
The two leaders seemed to put their previous clashes aside during their half-hour meeting.
Swiss guards saluted President Trump and the first lady as they arrived for a face-to-face meeting with Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace.
Trump introduced his sizeable entourage including daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
The polite papal encounter was a sharp contrast to their clashes during the campaign.
“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful,” said Trump in the past.
When asked about the border wall proposal, Pope Francis said it is not Christian to build walls instead of bridges. Trump fired back.
“I don’t like fighting with the pope actually…I don’t think this is a fight,” said Trump on CNN.
The two leaders also have diametrically opposed views on many issues. President Trump tried to ban Syrian refugees.
While Pope Francis personally took in 12 Muslims who had washed up on Greek shores back to Rome on his papal plane.
When asked about their upcoming meeting, Pope Francis said, “I never make a judgement about a person without listening to them.”
After today’s 30 minute closed-door meeting the pope appeared to give a gentle nudge to change the president’s mind on climate change, which Trump has previously called a hoax.
The pope presented him with three books including one he described as focusing on “care of our common home – the environment.”
Trump gifted him a custom bound set of the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On his way out, President Trump said that he’d never forget what the pope told him. Trump and the first lady later went on a private tour of the Sistine Chapel.
During his first officials trip abroad, the president has visited holy Muslim, Jewish and Christian sites.
The next stop for President Trump is Brussels for a NATO summit.