As our French friends would say, "Quelle Surprise!" (What a surprise!) Not really. Of course the Vatican would object to a White House reception that Obama planned in order to attempt to humiliate the Pope, Catholicism and Christendom at large. To participate in that planned circus would be a humiliation of the greatest degree. Perhaps Obama expected the Pope to bow to him and his controversial guests as Obama has made a show of bowing to other leaders of State who he thinks America owes apologies to for our history.
Pope Francis is a very liberal Pope and endorses views that I personally oppose, such as open borders and a belief that global warming is the result of human activity ( more on that perhaps another time, some scientists are lobbying to have Obama legally prosecute other scientists who dissent from the opinion that global warming is the result of human activity). He holds other views that I do not agree with or support, but I respect Pope Francis and believe that he has done things that have been good for the Catholic church and for the progress of Christendom at large. He has granted audiences to people who are transsexual and not rejected them, though the teachings of the church is at odds with the belief that transsexuals and transgender people have a place at the table in the world of Christendom. He has met with gay people as well and seems to say they should not be excluded from being offered the sacraments, though he believes having a transsexual or transgender identity or gay sexual orientation is a sin. Christian theologians recognize that there is no sin greater than another and while I disagree that I am sinning because of my identity as a woman, I know that I can be forgiven for that if it is a sin as it is no worse than any other sin.
In principle, Obama and Pope Francis share much on an ideological basis. It puzzles me why Obama would attempt to set up such a situation. Is it mere arrogance? Obama seems to be able to act outside of the United States Constitution with impunity. However, Pope Francis and the Catholic church are much bigger than the United States and in this instance, it might behoove Mr. President to remember his place in the grand scheme of the world and seek to build bridges instead of continuing to burn them to the ground.