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List of meetings between the Pope and the President of the United States

This is the list of meetings between the Pope and the President of the United States. The first meeting between a pope and an incumbent U.S. president took place in the aftermath of World War I, January 1919, at the Vatican between Benedict XV and Woodrow Wilson. Altogether, there have been 30 meetings between six popes and 13 American presidents over the past century.

The meetingsEdit

Date Site City Country President of the United States Pope Notes
January 4, 1919 Vatican City[1] Woodrow Wilson Pope Benedict XV First meeting between the incumbent President of the United States and the reigning Pope.
December 6, 1959 Vatican City[2] Dwight D. Eisenhower Pope John XXIII
July 2, 1963 Vatican City[3] John F. Kennedy Pope Paul VI First, and to date only, meeting between a Roman Catholic U.S. president and the head of the Catholic Church.
October 4, 1965 Waldorf Astoria New York New York City[4][5] United States Lyndon B. Johnson Pope Paul VI First papal visit to the United States.[6]
December 23, 1967 Vatican City[7] Lyndon B. Johnson Pope Paul VI
March 2, 1969 Vatican City[8] Richard Nixon Pope Paul VI
September 29, 1970 Vatican City[8] Richard Nixon Pope Paul VI
June 3, 1975 Vatican City[9] Gerald Ford Pope Paul VI
October 6, 1979 White House[10] Washington, D.C.[11] United States Jimmy Carter Pope John Paul II First visit by a pope to the White House.
June 21, 1980 Vatican City[12] Jimmy Carter Pope John Paul II
June 7, 1982 Vatican City[13] Ronald Reagan Pope John Paul II
May 2, 1984 Fairbanks International Airport Fairbanks, Alaska[11] United States Ronald Reagan Pope John Paul II President Reagan was returning to the United States from a visit to China while Pope John Paul II was making a stopover on his way to South Korea, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Thailand.[14]
June 6, 1987 Vatican City[13] Ronald Reagan Pope John Paul II
September 10, 1987 Miami International Airport[15] Miami, Florida[11] United States Ronald Reagan Pope John Paul II
May 27, 1989 Vatican City[16] George H. W. Bush Pope John Paul II
November 8, 1991 Vatican City[16] George H. W. Bush Pope John Paul II
August 12, 1993 Regis University[17] Denver, Colorado[11] United States Bill Clinton Pope John Paul II Both leaders addressed thousands of young students at World Youth Day.[18]
June 2, 1994 Vatican City[19] Bill Clinton Pope John Paul II
October 4, 1995 Newark Liberty International Airport[20] Newark, New Jersey[11] United States Bill Clinton Pope John Paul II
January 26, 1999 St. Louis Lambert International Airport[21] St. Louis, Missouri [11] United States Bill Clinton Pope John Paul II
July 23, 2001 Palace of Castel Gandolfo[Note 1] Castel Gandolfo[22] Italy George W. Bush Pope John Paul II
May 28, 2002 Vatican City[22] George W. Bush Pope John Paul II
June 4, 2004 Vatican City[22] George W. Bush Pope John Paul II President Bush presented Pope John Paul II with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[23]
June 9, 2007 Vatican City[22] George W. Bush Pope Benedict XVI
April 15–16, 2008 White House[10] Washington, D.C.[24][25] United States George W. Bush Pope Benedict XVI
June 13, 2008 Vatican City[22] George W. Bush Pope Benedict XVI
July 10, 2009 Vatican City[26][27][28][29] Barack Obama Pope Benedict XVI
March 27, 2014 Vatican City[30][31] Barack Obama Pope Francis
September 22–23, 2015 White House[10] Washington, D.C.[32][33] United States Barack Obama Pope Francis
May 24, 2017 Vatican City[34] Donald Trump Pope Francis

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Pursuant to the Lateran Treaty of 1929, the Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo is Italian territory, but owned by the Holy See and equipped with extraterritoriality comparable to that of diplomatic missions.
 
President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan with Pope John Paul II, June 7, 1982
 
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates his 81st birthday with President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush, April 16, 2008
 
Pope Francis and President Barack Obama at the White House in 2015.

Other meetingsEdit

Future popes meeting the presidentEdit

Additionally, Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pope Pius XII) visited the United States for two weeks in October–November 1936 and met President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Hyde Park, New York on November 5, 1936.[35]

President George W. Bush attended the Funeral of Pope John Paul II on April 8, 2005 and briefly met Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, who had led the Mass of Requiem.[36] Bush was the first incumbent U.S. president to attend a papal funeral.[37]

First ladies meeting the popeEdit

Jacqueline Kennedy was the first First Lady of the United States to meet with a pope independent of her husband, the president. On March 11, 1962, she met with Pope John XXIII at the Vatican while en route to India and Pakistan.[38]

Laura Bush and her daughter Barbara Bush met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on February 9, 2006. The First Lady was en route to the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.[39]

Former presidents meeting the popeEdit

After leaving office, former Presidents Martin Van Buren and Millard Fillmore met separately with Pope Pius IX in Rome in 1855. Pius IX also met Franklin Pierce in November 1857. In 1878, Ulysses S. Grant met Pope Leo XIII in the Vatican.[40]

Also, in April 1910, Theodore Roosevelt sought an audience with Pope Pius X. The Pope agreed to see him, provided Roosevelt would not call on some Methodist missionaries in Rome. Roosevelt had no intention of meeting the missionaries, but he declined to submit to Pius X's conditions and the interview did not take place. Theodore Roosevelt called the entire papal episode, "An elegant row."[41]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Travels of President Woodrow Wilson". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  2. ^ "Travels of President Dwight D. Eisenhower". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  3. ^ "Travels of President John F. Kennedy". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  4. ^ "Pope Paul VI - Travels". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "Pope Paul VI Visit to the United Nations, 1964". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "The President's Daily Diary: October 4, 1965". Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013.
  7. ^ "Travels of President Lyndon B. Johnson". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Travels of President Richard M. Nixon". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  9. ^ "Travels of President Gerald R. Ford". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c "Papal Visits to the White House". White House Historical Association. n.d. Archived from the original on August 13, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Holy See Press Office - His Holiness Pope John Paul II Biography". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on November 7, 2011.
  12. ^ "Travels of President Jimmy Carter". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Travels of President Ronald Reagan". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  14. ^ "Remarks at the Welcoming Ceremony for Pope John Paul II in Fairbanks, Alaska May 2, 1984". Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Archived from the original on November 7, 2011.
  15. ^ Walsh, Kenneth (March 27, 2014). "Ronald Reagan and John Paul II: A Primer on Papal Diplomacy". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on June 5, 2019. President Ronald Reagan shakes hands with Pope John Paul II on Sept. 10, 1987, at Miami International Airport.
  16. ^ a b "Travels of President George H.W. Bush". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  17. ^ "Regis Hosted a Landmark Meeting". Regis University.edu. n.d. Archived from the original on September 16, 2019. On August 12, 1993, Regis University hosted a meeting and press conference with Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton at the Northwest Denver Campus.
  18. ^ "Highlights of President Clinton's First Eighteen Months in the White House". WhiteHouse.gov. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013.
  19. ^ "Travels of President William J. Clinton". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  20. ^ Baker, Al; Bell, Charles W. (October 5, 1995). "Pope arrives in Newark International Airport in 1995". Daily News. Archived from the original on September 15, 2019. The visit...began at Newark International Airport with 2,000 New Jersey parochial school students cheering him like a rock star and President Clinton hailing him as a model pilgrim of peace in a troubled world.
  21. ^ "Visit to St. Louis 99: Arrival Message". EWTN. January 26, 1999. Archived from the original on September 15, 2019. The Holy Father arrived at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, USA...where he was greeted by President William J. Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  22. ^ a b c d e "Travels of President George W. Bush". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011.
  23. ^ Secretary of the Senate, United States Congress. "Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipients". Senate.gov. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013. June 4, 2004...Pope John Paul II
  24. ^ "Pope Benedict XVI - Apostolic Voyages outside Italy". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013.
  25. ^ "Pope Benedict XVI - Apostolic Journey to the United States of America and visit to the United Nations Organization Headquarters (April 15–21, 2008)". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013.
  26. ^ "Travels of President Barack Obama". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian.
  27. ^ "Vatican, White House: Abortion one topic of Obama-Pope chat". CNN. July 10, 2009. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  28. ^ "Obama holds first talks with Pope". BBC News. July 10, 2009. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  29. ^ Wooden, Cindy (July 10, 2009). "Presidents and popes: Obama is 12th US president to visit Vatican". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
  30. ^ Hanna, Jason; Liptak, Kevin (January 21, 2014). "Obama to visit Pope Francis in March". CNN. Archived from the original on January 22, 2014.
  31. ^ Abdullah, Halimah (March 27, 2014). "Obama, Pope Francis meet for first time". CNN. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014.
  32. ^ Ohlheiser, Abby; Boorstein, Michelle (September 22, 2015). "Pope Francis has arrived in the United States. Here's what to expect". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Waiting for Francis: President Obama, who rarely greets arriving foreign dignitaries on the runway.
  33. ^ Lee, Carol E.; McCain Nelson, Colleen; Rocca, Francis X. (September 23, 2015). "Pope Francis Takes On Climate Change, Religious Freedom and Other Big Issues". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. The day began with Mr. Obama welcoming the pope at the White House.
  34. ^ "Trump 'determined to pursue peace' after Pope meeting". BBC News. May 24, 2017. Archived from the original on May 7, 2019.
  35. ^ "Pacelli Lunches With Roosevelt", The New York Times, p. 1, November 6, 1936
  36. ^ Assaf, Andrea Kirk (June 10, 2007). "Bush and Benedict: First Meeting". Inside the Vatican. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  37. ^ Loven, Jennifer (April 13, 2008). "A look at pope-president meetings". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  38. ^ "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years". Field Museum of Natural History. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  39. ^ "Laura Bush Meets Pope Benedict". CBS News. February 9, 2006. Archived from the original on September 26, 2019.
  40. ^ DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of US Presidents W.W. Norton 1989 ISBN 978-1-56980-286-1
  41. ^ Durant, John and Alice Pictorial History of American Presidents A. S. Barnes and Company 1955 p. 216