April 18th, 2008
02:31 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: 'On my best behavior' during papal meeting


Watch Wolf discuss meeting the pope.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - I promised you I would report on my wonderful opportunity actually to meet Pope Benedict XVI while he was on the campus of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. It was a very special moment for me.

Accompanied by Father David O’Connell, the President of Catholic University, the pontiff walked into a small room where ten invited guests were anxiously awaiting his arrival. He could not have been nicer. He graciously shook hands with all of us, and gave us each a gold medal showcasing his visit to the United States. This is something I will always treasure.

Father O’Connell, in introducing me to the Pope, noted that I work for CNN. The Pope said something about that being “very important.” I told him that it was wonderful of him to honor the United States by paying this historic visit.

One footnote: My friend Tim Russert, the NBC News Washington Bureau Chief, was also among the special guests invited to meet with the Pope. The two of us are both originally from Buffalo, New York, and we couldn’t help but reflect on how extraordinary it was for two Buffalonians - one from the South Side and the other from the North Side - winding up in Washington and receiving this high honor. I think we both were pinching ourselves. Needless to say, we were both on our best behavior.

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Scott, Wichita

    I just have one thing to say to Wolf:

    Let's Go Buffalo!

    April 18, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. NObama

    I would be impressed if he could walk on water like Obama!

    Are there any "journalists" left in the world?

    April 18, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Dori in AZ

    Any true prayers are appreciated. Need all the blessings we can get ! Nice that you were selected for this opportunity. Being introduced and shaking hands with the Pope is an honor. In some ways, it extends from there to the rest of us.

    We are told that there will always be evil in the world But some are given the unique gift to fight it at deeper levels. Freedom of speech and of the press are huge gifts in that battle. We are so fortunate in this country to have them. Use them wisely. You really can and do make a difference in people's lives!

    DO SMALL THINGS WITH GREAT LOVE.... (Mother Teresa of Calcutta)

    April 18, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Susan MO


    Did you ask the Pope to pray for Hillary and forgive her lies?





    April 18, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Ronald

    You should have asked for forgiveness for the way you are lying throughout this presidential campaign about the candidate. Shame on you Wolf.

    April 18, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Anonymous


    This isn't your personal blog. This is the political ticker. Hearing about the honor you felt in meeting the pope isn't political news. If you want to talk about that, put it on your personal blog.

    April 18, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Bryan

    Um, so...


    I guess any critical and constructive reporting on the Vatican by you is out of the question now. You've pretty much expressed your undyling love for this guy.

    God, how I long for the day when reporters actually "report" again.

    April 18, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  8. Ifeanyi Azubike Houston Texas

    Congratulations Wolf. There is no better way to say this than to say that even the Pope recognizes honorable journalism. I have said it before that in my estimation, there are only too journalists left in America- Wolf Blitzer and Larry king. The others are a bunch of partisan praise singing or anti-personality misfits who have greatly limited our choice of news sources. I am happy that the Pope has given honor to whom it is due. Once again CONGRATS.

    April 18, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Breaking News

    This just in:

    McCain tied his own shoes today!

    April 18, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Have him tell Hillary the party is over and she can go home now! Bill and Hillary should schedule there confession with the Pope.

    April 18, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. Grif

    I say it again... Be he never be, So Humble, again...

    April 18, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Lee WV

    Wolf ,
    I know you will be on your best behavior but you had better tell Lou Dobbs to stop ragging on the Pope being on cable TV all day.What does he want to see ,more people ragging on Obama?

    April 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. D

    I don't think that Obama would be interested in meeting the Pope. Ther is a reason why the majority of Catholics and probably Jews do not support Obama. They know something but no one saying much out loud.

    April 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. SayNoToHillaryBillaryCheslaryClintrous

    Facts from Fact check

    Clinton's ad says that "she's the one who will make oil companies pay" to support her clean-energy initiatives. In fact, she proposed to spend $150 billion for energy improvements over 10 years, and proposed to pay for some part of that through higher taxes on oil companies.
    Clinton faults Obama for voting for the 2005 energy bill, which she calls "the Bush Cheney energy bill." But the compromise Obama voted for was supported by most Senate Democrats and lacked many of the administration's original proposals. As we've said before, it resulted in a small net tax increase on oil companies.

    April 18, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. flavoter

    How many of you out there that are just so appalled at the words. Notice I said words from a Marine veteran (Side note how many of these so call media types can say the have proudly served this country in uniform? Maybe 1 but they are so patriotic. So much so that lapel pins mean a great deal to them as U.S. Army veteran the lapel pin means crap.
    You know in your heart if you love this country, even when it doesn't love you back. Because of your color, or maybe you grew up in a trailer park) How many of you have left the Catholic churches while your sex issus were going on. For decades!!!! how many of you were alter boys? Interesting how easy it is to point the finger at other.......

    April 18, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Sharon Minnesota

    Ok, I'm going to go out on a limb here.

    The Pope, George W. Bush, Barack H. Obama
    the harlot, the beast and the false prophet respectively.

    Now don't go crazy but stop and think. Religeon has screwed up the human race up to this day. Unlike religeon, Jesus Christ is the savior of the world and the world leaders cannot take his place, ever..

    April 18, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. Darth Pope

    The Catholic church is a dinosaur.

    April 18, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. Beatrice J. Smith

    What is happening in this primary when the media has to tailor questions to the suitablity of Barack Obama. Every candidate should have to answer tough questions. Why is he an excepts. We can't say anything against him, we can't ask questions of him, African-Americans are being called a "traitor" if they thing for themselves and want to vote their conscience, and he has the audacity to tell the public that he can read our minds and decide what we want to hear and many boy into that and say that the media was too hard on him. If he can't stand the heat, he needs to get out of the kitchen. Now we have a group of people stating that you can't bother Barack. Is that a threat? Is he buying the election because he raised more money than anyone else. Yes, his mother was a single parent, they may have used food stamps, but that necessarily mean that he is not now an "Eliteist". I think not, he is when he calls everything "silly and trivial" that he does not want to answer and decided what questions he can and cannot be asked. His performance on the last debate was horrible. Yes, he can make speeches, but he is terrible in debates and many of the questions he could not answer. Barack Obama does not have a premium on honesty, integrity and knowing everything. No one is perfest, as he wants us to believe.

    April 18, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Naomi Lundgren

    Wow !! You people are vicious... First time read....last time read..

    April 18, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. NittanyLionNance

    Catholic or not, it is a rare honor to meet a world leader that is the face of peace and unity. I sure the commenters that disagree have not reached teir 30th birthday and/or have an IQ under 110.

    I would enjoy hearing more about your meeting wih His Holiness, Benedict XV1.

    April 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. mitch from ark.

    did you tell the pope,that he came just in time,to keep the government,from taking all the catholic children away from their homes,families and communities,because of all of the abuses by catholic priests,just like the children in texas?

    April 18, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Brenda Elizabeth Waters

    Dear Mr Blitzer

    I must say I am shocked and dismayed at the euphoric welcome and idolising of the Pope in the US.

    "It was so courageous of him to face the sex abuse crises head-on" – the sex abuse crises was brought to the attention of the Church years ago.. When the truth was getting impossible to evade, it was this man, as Cardinal Ratzinger, who did everything he could to cover-up, deflect, deny, twist the reality, until finally the truth won out at an impossibly high price to many people.

    Wake up America....you elect a dry-drunk as President, not just once, but twice. And now this stomach-churning admiration for a man who should beg for unconditional forgiveness and make full retribution to the scores of people whose lives have been destroyed in the name of his Holy Church.

    I have the right to speak out as I sadly was abused as a child, (not by a clergyman), just a good God-loving. church- going Catholic. At aged sixty I now refuse to remain silent.

    Without prejudixe
    Brenda, Dublin, Ireland

    April 18, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Paul C.

    When I look at the bloody history of the Catholic church I have no respect. They have lost the power of life or death over their flock but maintain the ability to abuse.
    It is my opinion that organized religion, and the Catholic church in particular, is a business and the members should think twice and exercise a great deal of caution before placing their faith and trust in them.
    The Catholic church was not established by Jesus but is the invention of men seeking power and position. It's better than working for a living.

    April 18, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. Greg, Austin

    I have long respected Wolf Blitzer's engaging reporting style and sincere effort at objectvity. I am happy for him to have experienced the honor of meeting such a famous religious leader, but I am admittedly a bit surprised by a trusted reporter appearing so gushy. I know it's very easy to get swept up in the moment of meeting a powerful and respected leader, but I do expect our independent reporters to use the privilege of their media role and influence to bring thoughtful and useful information to its public. I saw none of that in this instance of reporting and am disappointed.

    April 18, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. Patricia - Ontario, Canada

    I am very happy for you Wolfe. You experienced something very special. May God be with you and your family.

    April 18, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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