This week the Vatican played host to Secretary of State John Kerry, in a visit expected to pave the way for a meeting between President Obama and Pope Francis. During the 90-minute meeting, Kerry and Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin discussed issues ranging from the Syrian civil war to U.S. health care reform. Kerry was also in Kuwait this week to attend a conference to raise donations for victims of Syria’s civil war. Kuwait led off the conference by pledging $500 million to the relief effort, and the U.S. pledged an additional $380 million. The U.N. has appealed for a record $6.5 billion in aid for Syrians in 2014, the most for any single cause in U.N. history.