Pope presses Obama on abortion, stem cells

stem cell research in his first meeting with President Barack Obama on Friday, pressing the Vatican’s case with the U.S. leader who is already under fire on those issues from some conservative Catholics and bishops back home. The 30-minute meeting Vatican audience was described by both sides as positive – constructive talks between two men who agree on helping the poor and pushing for Middle East peace but disagree on what the Vatican considers prime ethical issues. “It’s a great honor,” Obama said, greeting the pope and thanking him for this first meeting. Afterward, the Vatican said the leaders discussed immigration, the Middle East peace process and aid to developing nations. But the Vatican’s statement also underscored the pair’s deep disagreement on abortion.