U.S. Secretary of State Meets Pope, Reaffirming Joint Commitment to Religious Freedom

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By Melissa Butz

On the morning of October 3, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, head of U.S. Foreign policy, arrived at the apostolic palace to meet with Pope Francis.

“It’s a pleasure to be here. It’s a great honor,” he told the Holy Father, gifting him a box made to represent the United States. 

“This is a United States logo, lots of history from the early times of our country’s formation,” Pompeo explained. “We talked about being a nation of immigrants, and this box represents the greatness and uniqueness of our country.”

The two then spoke behind closed doors for around 30 minutes.

U.S. sources in Rome confirmed that the two “reaffirmed their commitment to advancing religious freedom around the world, and in particular, protecting Christian communities in the Middle East.”

They also discussed joint efforts “to promote democracy and human rights globally.”

To commemorate the visit, Pope Francis gave Pompeo a mosaic from a Vatican fountain, the main documents from his pontificate and his message of peace.

“I signed it today for you,’ the Holy Father told him. 

Mike Pompeo was accompanied by his family and introduced his wife to the pontiff.

At the end of the meeting, Pope Francis accompanied them to the door and made one last request of Pompeo:  “Pray for me.”