03/27/2014 11:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

When Popes And Presidents Meet

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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

pope obama

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


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


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


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

president bush john paul ii 1989

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

ronald reagan pope john paul ii

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

gerald ford pope

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

eisenhower pope

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



Pope Francis Meets President Obama