Pope previews Trump visit; prays for mothers in heaven, on earth

- Pope Francis says he won't try to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to soften his policies on immigration and the environment when they meet this month, but wants instead to find common ground and work for peace.

   Francis said proselytizing isn't his style -- in politics or religion.

   Speaking to reporters while traveling home Saturday from a trip to Portugal, Francis said he would say what he thinks sincerely to Trump and listen respectfully to what Trump has to say.

   "I never make a judgment about a person without hearing him out," the pope said.

   Speculation has swirled about what Trump and Francis will discuss during their May 24 audience, given Francis has already said anyone who wants to build walls to keep out migrants is "not Christian."

   Trump, who made building a wall along the border with Mexico a signature campaign promise, responded by saying it was "disgraceful" that the pope would question his faith.

   Francis said that in talks, he always tries to find "doors that are at least a little bit open" where common ground can be found, particularly in peace-building.

   "Peace is artisanal. You do it every day," he said.

   Asked specifically if he would try to soften Trump's policies, Francis said: "That is a political calculation that I don't allow myself to make. Also in the religious sphere: I don't proselytize."  

   Trump will call on Francis mid-way through his first foreign trip, after visiting Saudi Arabia and Israel and before attending a NATO summit in Brussels and a G-7 summit in Italy.

Sunday, Pope Francis invited the faithful in St. Peter's Square to join him in silent prayer for each one's own mother, including those in Heaven.

   Greeting tourists and Romans on Sunday from a window overlooking the square, Francis noted that in many countries Mother's Day was being celebrated.

   He said: "So let's remember with gratitude and affection all mothers, even our mothers in heaven."

   Francis then invited all in the crowd of 25,000 to spend "a few instants in silence, each one praying for their own mother." He then bowed his head in prayer, before wishing all a good day.

   He also appealed for penitence and prayers for the end of conflicts and wars he says are disfiguring "the face of humanity."

   Francis recalled those suffering in the Middle East such as Muslims, Christians and minorities like the Yazidis who are victims of "tragic violence and discrimination."

   He recalled his return a day earlier from the shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal, where many pray for peace.

   Francis said, "Today, there is so much need for prayer and penitence to implore the grace of conversion, to implore the ends of so many wars" that are "ever-widening."

   Similarly, he recommended prayers for the "'end to absurd conflicts, big and small, that disfigure the face of humanity."

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