John L. Allen Jr.: A scorecard on the issues for looming Francis/Trump summit

(Crux) At first blush, it’s tempting to think that when Pope Francis and President Donald Trump meet in the Vatican next Wednesday, areas of both disagreement and possible consensus between “the Donald” and the “People’s Pope” should be reasonably clear.

When you start drilling down to the details, however, things get more complicated.

On Francis’s side, like all popes, he tends to speak in lofty moral exhortations rather than the nitty-gritty details of policy, leaving room for divergent interpretations. On immigration, for instance, Francis has urged building bridges not walls, but has also said countries have the right to defend their borders – creating a degree of wiggle room about how to square those two statements.

On Trump’s side, he’s praised himself for his flexibility, which critics say often really means his inconsistency. The administration’s stands on many fronts seem a work in progress, making the transition between the president’s rhetoric and his actual policies sometimes challenging to navigate.

The result is that when you put them under a microscope, seeming disagreements can turn out to be not quite so absolute, and likewise, apparent meetings of minds can start to unravel. [More]

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