ROME — Despite opposing views on some issues, the U.S. Embassy to
the Holy See will still look for common ground on global issues, the interim
leader of the embassy said.
"There's an expectation that the relationship between
President (Donald) Trump and Pope Francis will be difficult to establish"
and that "the bilateral relationship between the United States and the
Holy See is going to suffer and that is not the case at all," Louis Bono,
charge d'affaires to the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See said. Bono temporarily
leads the embassy while it waits for a new U.S. ambassador to be named and
Speaking to Catholic News Service March 6, Bono talked about
expectations of the future relationship between the United States and the Holy
See under the Trump administration.
The embassy, he said, hopes to continue its joint efforts on
global issues, such as combating human trafficking and ending modern slavery.
"Our goal right now is to keep that relationship moving
forward, to look for more areas of collaboration" and "to build upon
the successes that we've already experienced," he said.
The narrative that portrays Pope Francis and President Trump as
adversaries, he added, does not interfere with the relationship between the
United States and the Holy See.
"It is also important that we have this strong
relationship," because when "there are areas of differences, areas
where we disagree," it is important "to be able to speak openly and
frankly about those issues and to try and find common ground." he said.
President Trump was scheduled to attend the G7 meeting in Sicily
in May, but it wasn't yet announced whether he would also go to Rome.
However, Bono said, "I expect that eventually the pope and
the president will meet and they'll have the opportunity to speak frankly if
there are any areas of differences, but more so, to focus on those areas where
we do have common ground and to identify how we can work together