Vatican City (AFP) - "Barack Obama will meet Pope Francis for the first time Thursday for talks on a shared agenda to fight inequality which the US President hopes will help boost support at home. The talks between the first Latin-American pope and first African-American US president will focus on tackling the gap between the rich and the poor, but are likely to spill over into thornier issues such as abortion, homosexuals and contraception.
Obama is "mostly going I think to bask in the glow of the new Pope," said Jeremy Shapiro, visiting fellow at Washington's Brookings institute.
Obama said he was "hugely impressed" by Francis's inclusive approach after the pope called for the Church to stop obsessing debating teachings on abortion, homosexuals and contraception. However, Vatican experts say the relationship is not as cozy as it once was between pope Jean Paul II and Ronald Reagan, and Francis is unlikely to refrain from tackling Obama on his domestic and foreign policy.
Religious expert John Allen told Vatican Radio Obama will be fishing for Catholic votes to help him keep a hold on the Senate."(Source)