Obama to meet with Pope Benedict XVI
By William Wan
President Barack Obama will meet with Pope Benedict XVI on July 10. In a short aside during a press briefing this afternoon, Obama spokeman Robert Gibbs said the president and the pope will "discuss a range of issues, including their shared belief in the dignity of all people."
The two leaders will meet during Obama's upcoming trip to Italy for the G-8 summit. The meeting will come as Obama's support for abortion rights and other issues like stem-cell research has been criticized by some American Catholic bishops (most notably at during the Notre Dame controversy last month).
The White House said Michelle Obama plans to join the president on the trip to Italy.
And while we're on the subject of Obama and religion, here's an interesting exchange from the press briefing this afternoon right after Gibbs mentioned the Obama-pope meeting (there has been speculation for months about whether Obama would join a local church and which):
QUESTION FROM REPORTER: Does he have a church --
MR. GIBBS: I can assure you, April, we're not joining a church in Italy. (Laughter.)
REPORTER: I didn't ask that.
MR. GIBBS: I know. But you know what I did? I just fast-forwarded right to the follow-up. (Laughter.)
June 24, 2009; 5:32 PM ET
God in Government
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