The leader of the Catholic Church also said on the live video call to former President Bill Clinton that “it is necessary to share thoughts on how to contribute to the common good and how not to leave behind the most vulnerable people such as children.”
“You, Mr. President, have listed the many challenges of our time: climate change, humanitarian crises affecting migrants and refugees and child care, and many others,” Pope Francis said.
The pontiff later added, “When we talk about migration, let’s think about the eyes of the children we’ve seen in refugee camps.”
Pope Francis meets with former President Bill Clinton during an audience at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City on July 5, 2023. (Vatican Pool / Contributor)
While the pope holds to a traditional Christian view of abortion, contraceptives and gender, he blasted some conservatives in the U.S. Catholic Church in an address last month, accusing them of prioritizing ideology over faith and hindering the evolution of Catholic doctrine. He also acknowledged the existing divisions in the Church, stemming from differing views on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
Pope Francis leads his traditional Wednesday General Audience at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on March 8, 2023. (Stefano Costantino/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Many conservatives have critiqued the pontiff’s focus on social justice and his willingness to consider changes, such as allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive sacraments.
The CGI summit in New York began Monday and will conclude Tuesday. Pope Francis met with Clinton, along with progressive billionaire donor George Soros’ son Alex Soros, at the Vatican in July.
Chelsea Clinton, right, is joined by her parents Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton on stage during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a meeting of international leaders which looks to help solve global problems, in New York City on Sept. 19, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Other politicians, celebrities and government officials will speak during the two-day event.
The Biden administration will be represented by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland during the summit. Additional speakers include Hillary Clinton, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, former White House press secretary Jen Psaki, retired NBA player Dwyane Wade, former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair and Fox News host Dana Perino.
Jamie Joseph is a writer who covers politics. She leads Fox News Digital coverage of the Senate.