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Sean Spicer finally got to meet the pope


Sean Spicer met the Pope (AP/J Scott Applewhite)

Sean Spicer met the Pope (AP/J Scott Applewhite)

Sean Spicer met the Pope (AP/J Scott Applewhite)

Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer finally got to meet the pope after being left off a list of White House officials who had the chance to meet Francis when Donald Trump visited the Vatican.

Mr Spicer attended an audience with Pope Francis as part of an annual meeting of the International Catholic Legislators Network, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed.

A photograph posted on Vatican Radio's English Facebook page from the event showed Mr Spicer sitting in the front row, taking photos of the pope with his phone.

Others showed a man dropping to his knee and proposing to his girlfriend during the audience.

Mr Spicer, who is Roman Catholic, was not on the list of White House officials during the president's trip in May. The omission struck many as a slight by Mr Trump against the embattled aide and drew sympathy on social media.

Mr Spicer announced his resignation last month, but remains on the White House payroll through the end of August.

In announcing the audience, the Vatican press office said the pope gave a "brief greeting" to the 250 or so participants gathered in the Clementine Hall, one of the main reception rooms in the Apostolic Palace.

It did not release the full text of his remarks, but both Vatican Radio and the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, said the pope delivered a message that included his usual call for politicians to "build bridges" between different political perspectives.

Mr Trump criticised the pope during his 2016 presidential campaign after Francis said that anyone who wants to build a wall - as Mr Trump had promised to do along the southern border with Mexico - was "not Christian".

Mr Trump responded by criticising the pope as a "very political" person who did not understand the situation.

The two appeared to bury the hatchet during their May meeting, when the pope joked with first lady Melania Trump about what she was feeding her husband.