The U.S. presidents have genuinely had a warm relationship with the Pope, even if they don’t always see eye-to-eye on issues, including marriage equality and abortion rights. Over the years, the First Families have made official visits to the Vatican and the welcome mat has been rolled out for the Pope’s trips to the White House over the years.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden just made their first visit since they’ve moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, which was an extraordinary moment because it’s been over 50 years since a Roman Catholic president met with the leader of the Catholic Church. Biden gave Pope Francis a command coin in honor of his late son, Beau Biden, who served in the military, telling the Pontiff that the coin is “warriors and leaders.” He complimented Pope Francis by calling him “the most significant warrior for peace I’ve ever met,” per ABC News.
While this looked like quite the amicable visit, things were a little more heated when Donald Trump visited Pope Francis in 2017 because they were far apart on issues close to the pontiff’s heart: climate change and immigrant rights. The Guardian called the Trump family’s visit “somber” with “a glum-looking pope” presiding over the visit. (Take a look at the evidence and decide for yourself.)
But don’t miss all of the beautiful moments between our presidents and the Pope — especially the sweet image with the Carter family and Pope John Paul II, it will make your heart melt.