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Obama Reflects on Meeting with Pope Francis

Pete Souza / The White House(WASHINGTON) -- At the Easter prayer breakfast Monday morning, President Obama reflected on his recent meeting with Pope Francis and their conversation about “the imperatives of addressing poverty and inequality.”

The president read a passage from the Francis’ The Joy of the Gospel, which he received as a gift. Obama said the message “speaks to us today.”

“‘Christ's resurrection,’ [Francis] writes, ‘is not an event of the past, it contains a vital power which has permeated this world.’ And he adds, ‘Jesus did not rise in vain. May we never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope.’ So this morning, my main message is just to say thank you to all of you because you don't remain on the sidelines,” Obama told his guests.

Obama said the appeal of Pope Francis is found both in his words -- a “message of justice and inclusion” -- and his deeds -- “simple yet profound.”

The president said he believes the pope is a reminder that “no matter what our station, have an obligation to live righteously and that we all have an obligation to live humbly, because that's, in fact, the example that we profess to follow.”

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