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Welcome, Pope Francis

  President Barack Obama takes his leave of Pope Francis at the Vatican on March 27, 2014. Now the two leaders are reunited in Washington D.C.   White House photograph by Pete Souza.

President Barack Obama takes his leave of Pope Francis at the Vatican on March 27, 2014. Now the two leaders are reunited in Washington D.C. White House photograph by Pete Souza.

Time to take a break from the sports world to say a proper hello to Pope Francis, who arrived yesterday in Washington D.C. There the jovial pontiff was greeted by a smiling, laughing President Barack Obama – a graceful man meeting a man of grace.

It was immediately apparent that Pope Francis intends to keep it real during his American sojourn (black Fiat, black shoes, eyeglasses he bought himself in a Roman shop).

Clothes, cars, accessories do indeed make the man. They show him to be in the world but not of it. That’s a tricky distinction that Pope Francis will have to maintain as he navigates the viperous waters of D.C., where liberals and conservatives alike will be vying to claim him for their own.

But I think if anyone can steer clear, Pope Francis can. You don’t get to be a Holiness – be it the pope or the Dalai Lama – without being hip to the games men play, even if you choose not to play yourself.