(NNPA)—History is often made by leaders who make a consequential difference in quality of life of people. The world has now witnessed the historic meeting between the first African-American to serve as president of the United States and the first Latin American to be Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. President Barack Obama and Pope Francis met recently at the Vatican in the heart of Rome.
At 77, Pope Francis, who was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 1936 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is 25 years older than President Obama. The 266th Pope is easily the most powerful religious leader in the world, the head of more than 1 billion Roman Catholics throughout the world. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 3 million African-American Catholics. Though considerable, that’s just a fraction of the 270 million-plus Catholics of African descent across the Diaspora.
With a deep political divide in the U.S., President Obama remains the most powerful political leader in the world.
Even the cynical establishment U.S. media in the U.S. praised the Obama-Francis dialogue as being crucial to the world discourse on income inequality, hunger and poverty, health care, immigration reform and the fundamental human rights of all. A CBS News correspondent remarked, “A visibly energized President Obama held a nearly hour-long audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, expressing his great admiration for the pontiff and inviting him to visit the White House.”