Since Pope Francis was heard to declare that if Donald Trump wanted to meet him he would meet Donald Trump the blogosphere has been alive with speculation.
Liberals have been portraying Trump and Francis as opposites in some Manichaean struggle. Francis is seen as the Anti-Trump whose wisdom, mercy and compassion contrast with the bluster and belligerence of the President. Francis is the bridge-builder; Trump the unchristian builder of walls.
Most of this is nonsense.
Far from being a cataclysmic confrontation, the meeting is likely to be a huge success. The two men will discover how much they have in common.
Both are shameless populists; both are foolishly garrulous; and both prefer to govern by diktat rather than consensus. Both are pursuing a reformist agenda with little time to spare. Both have a declared aim to ‘drain the swamp’; and both are faced with an apparently immoveable bureaucracy.
With so much in common, the things upon which they disagree – like capitalism and Islam – can easily be set aside in the ensuing love-fest.