Rebuffed by Vatican, Pompeo Assails China and Aligns With Pope’s Critics – The New York Times (Pompous and Trump now dissing Pope?)

Mr. Pompeo arrived in Rome and met with prelates and others who are hostile to Pope Francis, while the Vatican denied him a meeting with the pontiff and rebuffed his efforts to derail the deal with China.

“Pompeo asked to meet” the pope, who turned him down because Francis had “clearly said that he does not receive political figures ahead of the elections,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who, as secretary of state, is the Vatican’s second-ranking official, told reporters.

But to some observers on both sides of the tensions between the Roman Catholic Church and the Trump administration, Mr. Pompeo’s visit is as much about the coming presidential election as about China policy. Mr. Pompeo dismissed that suggestion as absurd, but intended or not, his trip signals that President Trump is on the side of those conservative American Catholics who worry about the church’s direction under Francis and think he is soft on China.