A few more notes on the gift exchange and meeting:
When the president told the pope that he could visit the White House garden, the pope responded in Spanish: “Como no,” which translates to “why not?” Or “for sure.”
The pope presented the president with two medallions, including one that symbolized the need for solidarity and peace between the northern and southern hemispheres. That is when the president responded that he would “treasure” the gifts.
The other gift was a copy of Evangelii Gaudium, or “The Joy of the Gospel.” This was the book that prompted Obama to say he would read it in the Oval Office when he needs a lift. It is a 2013 apostolic exhortation by Francis that called a new era evangelization and for a renewed focus on the world’s poor.
“I hope,” the pope responded.
The pope’s desk was spare. There was a crucifix and what looked like a clock.They sat in identical high backed white chairs.
There were glass-enclosed bookcases around the room, paintings on the wall and murals near the ceilings.
This quote should end with “than me”:
“His Holiness is probably the only person in the world who has to put up with more protocol than me,” the president joked.