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When Popes And Presidents Meet

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JFK POPE
US statesman John F Kennedy, 35th president of the USA, during an audience with the newly-elected Pope Paul VI at the Vatican. | Keystone via Getty Images

The first meeting between a U.S. president and a pope took place on January 4, 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson met Pope Benedict XV at the Vatican. Since then, six popes have met twelve presidents, sometimes more than once.

Some important moments include President John F. Kennedy's meeting with Pope Paul VI, which was the only meeting between a Roman Catholic president and a reigning pope.

The first time a pope visited the White House was in 1979, when President Jimmy Carter hosted Pope John Paul II in Washington D.C.

Now, President Obama has met Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican, with an agenda focused on the pair's "shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality."

See photos from the first official meetings between presidents and popes here:

President Barack Obama & Pope Francis -- March 27, 2014

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President Barack Obama & Pope Benedict XVI -- July 10, 2009

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President George W. Bush & Pope Benedict XVI -- June 9, 2007

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President George W. Bush & Pope John Paul II -- July 23, 2001

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President Bill Clinton & Pope John Paul II -- August 12, 1993

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President George H.W. Bush & Pope John Paul II -- May 27, 1989

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President Ronald Reagan & Pope John Paul II -- May 2, 1984

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President Jimmy Carter & Pope John Paul II -- October 6, 1979

jimmy carter john paul ii 1979

President Gerald Ford & Pope Paul VI -- June 3, 1975

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President Richard Nixon & Pope Paul VI -- March 2, 1969

richard nixon pope

President Lyndon B. Johnson & Pope Paul VI -- October 4, 1965

lyndon johnson pope

President John F. Kennedy & Pope Paul VI -- July 2, 1963

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President Dwight D. Eisenhower & Pope John XXIII -- December 6, 1959

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President Woodrow Wilson & Pope Benedict XV -- January 4, 1919

Also on HuffPost:

Pope Francis Meets President Obama
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