A Look Back at the History of US Presidential Visits to the Vatican
October 27, 2021
VATICAN CITY (RNS) — On Friday, Oct. 29, Pope Francis is set to hold a highly anticipated private audience with President Joe Biden at the Vatican. It will be the first in-person meeting between the pontiff and the Catholic head of state since Biden’s election.
Biden is the 14 U.S. president to meet a pontiff at the Vatican, and the Eternal City is bubbling with speculation over what the two are likely to discuss. The meeting is expected to be cordial, focusing on what the two have in common, but historically the relationship between the Vatican and the Oval Office has often been tense — even occasionally hostile.
From public reprimands to diplomatic faux pas, Religion News Service takes a look back at the history of meetings between popes and U.S. presidents.