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

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This is the list of meetings between the Pope and the President of the United States. Meetings have been held at the Vatican and within the United States by six Popes and twelve Presidents since 1919.

The meetings[edit]

Date Country City President of the United States Pope Notes
January 4, 1919   Vatican[1] Rome Woodrow Wilson Pope Benedict XV First meeting of an incumbent President of the United States and a reigning Pope.
December 6, 1959   Vatican[2] Rome Dwight D. Eisenhower Pope John XXIII
July 2, 1963   Vatican[3] Rome John F. Kennedy Pope Paul VI Only meeting of a Roman Catholic U.S. President and a reigning Pope.
October 4, 1965  United States New York City[4][5] Lyndon B. Johnson Pope Paul VI First visit to the United States by a reigning Pope.[6]
December 23, 1967   Vatican[7] Rome Lyndon B. Johnson Pope Paul VI
March 2, 1969   Vatican[8] Rome Richard Nixon Pope Paul VI
September 29, 1970   Vatican[8] Rome Richard Nixon Pope Paul VI
June 3, 1975   Vatican[9] Rome Gerald Ford Pope Paul VI
October 6, 1979  United States Washington, D.C.[10] Jimmy Carter Pope John Paul II First visit to the White House by a reigning Pope.
June 21, 1980   Vatican[11] Rome Jimmy Carter Pope John Paul II
June 7, 1982   Vatican[12] Rome Ronald Reagan Pope John Paul II
May 2, 1984  United States Fairbanks, Alaska[10] 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.[13]
June 6, 1987   Vatican[12] Rome Ronald Reagan Pope John Paul II
September 10, 1987  United States Miami, Florida[10] Ronald Reagan Pope John Paul II
May 27, 1989   Vatican[14] Rome George H. W. Bush Pope John Paul II
November 8, 1991   Vatican[14] Rome George H. W. Bush Pope John Paul II
August 12, 1993  United States Denver, Colorado[10] Bill Clinton Pope John Paul II Both leaders addressed thousands of young students at World Youth Day.[15]
June 2, 1994   Vatican[16] Rome Bill Clinton Pope John Paul II
October 4, 1995  United States Newark, New Jersey[10] Bill Clinton Pope John Paul II
January 26, 1999  United States St. Louis, Missouri[10] Bill Clinton Pope John Paul II
July 23, 2001  Holy See Castel Gandolfo[17] George W. Bush Pope John Paul II
May 28, 2002   Vatican[17] Rome George W. Bush Pope John Paul II
June 4, 2004   Vatican[17] Rome George W. Bush Pope John Paul II President Bush presented Pope John Paul II with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.[18]
June 9, 2007   Vatican[17] Rome George W. Bush Pope Benedict XVI
April 15–16, 2008  United States Washington, D.C.[19][20] George W. Bush Pope Benedict XVI See Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United States
June 13, 2008   Vatican[17] Rome George W. Bush Pope Benedict XVI
July 10, 2009   Vatican[21][22][23][24] Rome Barack Obama Pope Benedict XVI
March 27, 2014   Vatican[25][26] Rome Barack Obama Pope Francis
September 22-23, 2015  United States Washington, D.C.[27][28] Barack Obama Pope Francis See Pope Francis' visit to the United States
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 meetings[edit]

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.[29]

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.[30] Bush was the first incumbent U.S. president to attend a papal funeral.[31]

Former Presidents meeting the Pope[edit]

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.[32]

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."[33]

First Ladies meeting the Pope[edit]

There is at least one account of a sitting First Lady meeting the Pope independent of her husband. On March 11, 1962, en route to visiting India and Pakistan, Jacqueline Kennedy met with Pope John XXIII.[34]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  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 d e f "Holy See Press Office - His Holiness Pope John Paul II Biography". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on November 6, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Travels of President Jimmy Carter". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Travels of President Ronald Reagan". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. 
  13. ^ "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 6, 2011. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Highlights of President Clinton's First Eighteen Months in the White House". WhiteHouse.gov. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Travels of President William J. Clinton". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. 
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ 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 
  19. ^ "Pope Benedict XVI - Apostolic Voyages outside Italy". Vatican.va. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. 
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "Travels of President Barack Obama". U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. 
  22. ^ "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. 
  23. ^ "Obama holds first talks with Pope". BBC News. July 10, 2009. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ Hanna, Jason; Liptak, Kevin (January 21, 2014). "Obama to visit Pope Francis in March". CNN. Archived from the original on January 21, 2014. 
  26. ^ Abdullah, Halimah (March 27, 2014). "Obama, Pope Francis meet for first time". CNN. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. 
  27. ^ 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 22, 2015. Waiting for Francis: President Obama, who rarely greets arriving foreign dignitaries on the runway. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ "Pacelli Lunches With Roosevelt", The New York Times, p. 1, November 6, 1936 
  30. ^ 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. 
  31. ^ 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. 
  32. ^ DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of US Presidents W.W. Norton 1989 ISBN 978-1-56980-286-1
  33. ^ Durant, John and Alice Pictorial History of American Presidents A. S. Barnes and Company 1955 p. 216
  34. ^ "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years". Field Museum of Natural History. Retrieved November 21, 2012.