What an incredible moment! President Obama and Pope Francis had their first official meeting on U.S. soil on Sept. 22 and, obviously, it was historic– and highly photographed. Check out the pics!
Pope Francis is officially on American soil, kicking off his whirlwind tour through the United States. Important enough to get squeezed into his busy schedule? President Barack Obama, of course! The President, Michelle and their daughters were actually on hand to greet Francis at the airport when he arrived on Sept. 22. So awesome!
The Pope arrived at Joint Base Andrews in Washington D.C. on Thursday afternoon, and the Obamas were there to greet him immediately. The warm welcome was made sweeter by Sasha, 14, and 16-year-old Malia‘s appearance. Michelle looked lovely in a blue frock, while Malia rocked a patterned skirt and black top and Sasha wore a Kate Spade Colorblock Pleated Skirt. But this meeting was just to get acquainted — the real business is set to go down on Sept. 23, during a Welcoming Ceremony at the White House first thing in the morning. Pope Francis and the President will have a personal meeting during this time.
While the White House was seemingly thrilled to welcome the Pope, Mr. President might have the slightest ulterior motive in the meeting– and a White House aide is spilling!
“The goal of the pope’s visit to the United States is not to advance any political agenda, but rather, to acknowledge the significant Catholic population inside the United States and the shared values of these two world leaders,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, told the LA Times. “But look, the United States and the Vatican do have a range of issues that we care about, and so I also wouldn’t rule out that some of those other policy conversations did take place at lower levels, you know, particularly on things like climate change.”
Look, you gotta seize an opportunity when it comes your way, right? And, considering that Pope Francis is generally considered the most progressive pope, like, ever, it’s not surprising that the President would like to have a word!
Washington is just the first stop on what is sure to be a jam-packed tour through the country. Following D.C., he will travel to New York City, where he plans to attend evening mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, visit the 9/11 Memorial, and enjoy a ride through Central Park. In other words, Pope Francis hits all the same tourist spots that you do when you come to NYC! Go figure. Oh, and then he’s off to Philadelphia before heading back to Rome. This is a busy guy!
What do you think of the president meeting the pope? Are you excited that he’s in the U.S.?
— Casey Mink