Most world leaders, however, give the Pope at least a seven-month heads up before descending on the Vatican. Just over a week ago, the Financial Timesreported that President Trump would not come to Rome to meet with the Pope on this trip, citing unnamed "US and Vatican officials". These include Speaker Paul Ryan, Jim Nicholson, former Republican Party Chairman, and Congressman Francis Rooney: both Nicholson and Rooney are former USA ambassadors to the Holy See. The omission of a meeting on Trump's May travel schedule has led to speculation that the president was avoiding an encounter because of the two leaders' differing worldviews. Every president since Dwight Eisenhower has made the trip. "Trump also sees that wherever you sit on the political spectrum attacking the papacy isn't wise". The real estate magnate, whose apartment in Trump Tower is inspired by the Palace of Versailles, will be shown through a series of rooms with dizzyingly handsome frescoes.
Last February, Pope Francis spoke out against Trump's comments on immigrants.
"Anyone, whoever he is, who only wants to build walls and not bridges is not a Christian", Pope Francis told journalists past year while responding to a question about the president's anti-immigrant stance.
While the Pope has become a figurehead for a compassionate, person-centred global order standing up for the post-War consensus while Trump is a more unpredictable leader who has struck both a nationalist "Americafirst" tone while recently launching air strikes in Syria.
The politics of the audience is also likely to be complicated by the Vatican links of Trump's chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, the man credited with drafting the president's controversial immigration travel ban. The latest name to be put forward is Callista Gingrich, the wife of former speaker, Newt Gingrich.