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ROME – Today a meeting took place at the Vatican between two powerful leaders.
According to USA Today, Pope Francis and President Obama met for the first time Thursday to discuss a wide-range of topics including international conflict, human rights and religious freedom.
The meeting gave Pope Francis the opportunity to raise some issues about the Affordable Care Act.
The Vatican opposes the mandate that Catholic hospitals and institutions provide health plans that cover contraceptive drugs and abortifacients such as morning-after pills.
Recently a Catholic organization challenged the Affordable Care Act in a lawsuit filed in the United State District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
President Obama stated that he did discuss those concerns with the Vatican Secretary of State, but not with Francis.
While visiting with the pope, the president presented him with a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House garden.
According to NPR, the pope then gave the president two medallions as well as a copy of his Evangelii Gaudium, or The Joy of the Gospel.
After receiving the gift, the president said, “I actually will probably read this in the Oval Office when I’m deeply frustrated. I’m sure it will give me strength and calm me down.”
USA Today reproted that Obama invited Francis to visit the U.S. next year.