VATICAN CITY: US President Barack Obama met Pope Francis for the first time yesterday and invited the pontiff to visit the White House.
Obama made the spontaneous invitation as he was giving Pope Francis a symbolic gift of seeds from the White House garden after 50 minutes of private talks in the pope’s library.
“If you have a chance, you can come to the White House and you can see the garden,” Obama said to the pope as he was explaining the gift in the presence of reporters. The Pope, responding in Spanish, said “Como no?” (For sure).
The Catholic Church in the United States wants the Pope to visit Philadelphia in 2015 for an international gathering of families.
At the end of their private talks, Obama gave the pope a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden.Reuters