JFK – He is the first Catholic president to visit the Pope since La Voce di New York

JFK - He is the first Catholic president to visit the Pope since La Voce di New York

Fifty years later, a Catholic president returns to the threshold of the Holy Palace. Pope Francis accepted Joe Biden as John Fitzgerald Kennedy received by Paul VI: two popes of Irish descent who had a strong desire for reconciliation had to address their religious problem during the pre-election campaign. Confession.

Of course, the question was even stronger for Kennedy: it was another America. Today Catholics represent the largest religious community in the country, and above all the subject does not evoke the reactions it once did. Anyway, Biden himself has had the opportunity to say in the past with a metaphor that is very relevant to the news today that he would never kiss the pope’s ring.

The then Senator John F. Kennedy’s Catholic faith was a major factor in the 1960 US presidential election, as Dominican Patrick Briscoe, a subject matter expert, recalls in an article in Aletia. Liberal intellectuals criticized the Church’s views on birth control and the economy, while old – fashioned fundamentalists attacked the papacy and Catholic beliefs.

John F. Kennedy Nell 1961 – Wikimedia Commons

In this case, John F. Kennedy delivered a speech in Houston, Texas, and it is still considered a turning point in the general context of the relationship between Catholics and politics. It was the anniversary of that intervention that reopened a long debate in Italy a few years ago. In front of hundreds of Protestant ministers, Kennedy emphasized his views on the Catholic faith, the faith in the public office, and the nature of religion in America in general. “

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I am not a Catholic presidential candidate, ”he said. “I’m a Democratic nominee for president, and I’m also a Catholic. I do not speak for my church in public, and the church does not speak for me.

He vehemently rejected any theory that he was influenced by religious authority or by his belief in public policy matters. He was selected and planned a visit to Italy as it was a question of explaining the theory of flexible response to NATO allies.

But a month before arriving on a voyage, including a visit to the Vatican, Pope John XXIII died suddenly on June 3, 1963. Three weeks later, on June 21, Pope Paul VI was elected and agreed to meet. President Kennedy.

The latter decided to cancel the trip altogether out of respect for the events surrounding the election of the new Pontiff. But with the meeting confirmed, other questions arose.

Paul VI with John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963 – Wikimedia Commons

Of course, one thing: Would Kennedy have observed the traditional protocol of kneeling and kissing the papal ring? Warning: Thanks to photographs of the American president kneeling in front of the Supreme Pontifier in Rome, Kennedy’s political enemies Kennedy’s political enemies would have access to a lot of material, not just observing proper protocols.
Paul VI extended his hand to shake Kennedy affectionately and solved the problem, and he greeted Kennedy affectionately.

That was the time of the council. Montini later underscored the positive nature of the meeting, saying he was “deeply impressed” and “in high contact” with the most important world representatives, and immediately congratulated the President on his inaugural address. Masterpiece “),” His ability to speak to modern society in concrete words “, and his” modesty and decency “in the meeting.

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Regarding Biden’s possible hand kissing, one thing must be taken into account: Pope Francis has not allowed his hands to be kissed for two years. In March 2019, at the Basilica of Loreto, at the end of the Mass celebrated three days earlier, the pope began to steal naked the hands of the faithful lined up for traditional greetings.

Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, Regent of the House of Papals, welcomes US President Joe Biden with First Lady Jill Biden – ANSA / ETTORE FERRARI

The usual discourse between conservatives and progressives is inevitable: the pope also set aside this tradition (the former); This is now an outdated tradition, because the kiss on the ring is certainly not encouraged because the pope thinks that it is not a (last) service to God as a gesture of submission and authority. Not one or the other, he revealed himself: simple and despicable “hygiene problems”, “to avoid contagion when there are long lines of loyalists”.

Let’s repeat that, it was March two years ago, so Kovid hasn’t exploded yet. None of the clergy and cardinals lined up at the end of the kissing ring in public on Wednesday. As for Biden, when he landed in Rome tonight, he was wearing a mask. (Aji)

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