In anticipation of President Obama’s meeting with Pope Benedict XVI next week, the USCCB Media blog has produced a very helpful list of all previous meetings between sitting U.S. Presidents and the Holy Father.
I found it particularly interesting that no U.S. President met the Pope in the 19th century allowing Woodrow Wilson to be the first in 1919. What was the context for not meeting before 1919? Was it uncommon for heads of state to meet the Pope or just in the U.S.?
Kennedy’s Catholicism was a great concern during the 1960 election, with speculation that if elected the Vatican could hold power over the president. Consider now that President Reagan and President Clinton each met with the Pope four times, and President G.W. Bush met with him six times.
I pray that this upcoming meeting leads to God’s will being done in our country.