You can be the President, I'd rather be the Pope

A child plays with Pope Francis' skull cap during an audience with beneficiaries and volunteers of the Santa Marta pediatric dispensary in Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican on Dec. 14, 2013.

President Barack Obama met with Pope Francis on Thursday.

Clearly, there are issues the two men disagree on, like abortion rights and gay marriage. But there's one thing the Pope and the president both decry: the widening gap between rich and poorAccording to the AP, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama will express his appreciation for the pope's leadership on issues such as inclusion and equality. 

Both view poverty and income inequality as a crisis, though in slightly different ways.

For the pope, "it's not poverty, it's the gap itself that raises the moral question," says Steve Schneck, who directs the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America. Schneck says on the other hand, President Obama is "concerned that this income gap in the United States is undermining America's ability to be competitive in the world."

President Barack Obama is welcomed as he disembarks from Air Force One at Fiumicino Airport on March 26, 2014. Obama is on a week-long trip during which he will meet with Pope Francis and and travel to Saudi Arabia. 

About the author

Kate Davidson is a regular contributor to Marketplace.

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