July 10th, 2009
02:56 PM ET
5 years ago

President gives pope personal letter from Kennedy

(CNN) - President Obama presented Pope Benedict XVI a letter from Sen. Edward Kennedy during their meeting at the Vatican Friday, and asked the Pontiff to pray for the senator, who is being treated for brain cancer.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters the president called the Massachusetts Democrat after the meeting. Gibbs said the two spoke for about 10 minutes as Air Force One left Rome heading for Ghana, "telling him he had delivered the letter on his behalf to the Pope."

The letter was described as personal. According to Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, "the contents of the letter were not known to anyone I know of except Senator Kennedy."

McDonough said Obama and the Pope discussed Kennedy at the end of their half-hour discussion. He told reporters the president "asked that the Holy Father pray for ...Sen. Kennedy, who as we all know is ill, and whose brother obviously broke an important barrier in our country by being the first Catholic president," according to a transcript released by the White House.

The 77-year-old Kennedy was diagnosed with the brain tumor after suffering seizures in May 2008.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Steve (the real one)

    @Kevin from MN July 10th, 2009 3:54 pm ET
    Honestly, what is with all the Republicans going insane over the Obama family traveling with him on this Europe trip
    ---------------------------–
    Nice with the blanket statement, Kev. Garsping for straws are we?? So according to you, any knuckle headed democrat (and believe me they exist) represents ALL democrats and they represent you as well, right? Sounds fair to me!!

    July 10, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. EBC, MD

    AAaaaaaah that's so nice of the President. The Pope will surely say a special prayer for Sen. Kennedy.

    GOD BLESS OUR PRESIDENT.

    July 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    @Kevin from MN July 10th, 2009 3:54 pm ET
    Honestly, what is with all the Republicans going insane over the Obama family traveling with him on this Europe trip
    ---------------------------–
    Nice with the blanket statement, Kev. Grasping for straws are we?? So according to you, any knuckle headed democrat (and believe me they exist) represents ALL democrats and they represent you as well, right? Sounds fair to me!!

    July 10, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. TEDDY

    He should pray for what he did in Chapakwidick. He needs to repent before seeing St. Peter. Ted Kennedy has a lot of sins

    July 10, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Gwen K.Smith

    It is so sad the negativity and hate that people expressed. It says a lot about their low self esteem and self hate. What every Senate Kennedy expressed in his letter was for him and the Pope.

    President Obama takes his family with him to send time with them, share with the experience of seeing the world in which they live, and meeting new people. It grows you as a person.

    When our former Presidents took their families with them or they went on separate trips. I did not hear such outrage. Mrs. Bush and the Girls, Mrs. Clinton and Chelsa, The Nixon, etc.

    I still see the American Media, Print media, and some citizen still show disrepect and discrimination of our President and Frist Lady by addressing them in the disrepectful discriminatory practice of referring to African Americans only by their names "Obama, Barrack Obama , Michelle or his wife". and not by the earned title and position of " President, Frist Lady, Mr. or Mrs Obama.
    This is what was done when Regan, Bush 1&2, NIxon Nancy, Barbara or Laura and other former Presidents and Frist Laides were covered.
    Why do you all disrepect and discriminate against our elected President and Frist Lady?

    July 10, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  6. Tulsa

    TCM,
    You really should research a little before you "ASSUME" what an intelligent person is thinking. The Pope has actually had high marks for the Obama administration. Look at his (the Pope's) writings at the 100 day mark of the president's term.

    Oh well, since you're a Republican I suppose making things up and being nasty are just par for the course for you.

    July 10, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Zero.

    Tough? He should have asked for a miracle. The USA will be in the same mess as Italy by the time Obama has finished this fiscal-year..

    July 10, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. David

    It is so obvious anyway. These crooks are all in their cabal together.

    July 10, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Jody

    Why can't we give Obama some time–a lot more than six months to try to make a dent in the mess left by eight years of incompetency and stupidity i.e. Bush/Cheney. I for one am very hopeful that this young, extremely intelligent man can eventually bring back our country to some extent. Dear God, what whould it be like if McCain/Palin had won? I will tell you, more of the same as Bush/Cheney. I am so proud of President Obama and his representation of America when he goes abroad. I pray he will be successfu in his many endeavors.

    July 10, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. been there

    Steve (the real one) – If you were trying to establish that blanket statements could not be made about knucklehead Republicans you accomplished the opposite, knucklehead.

    July 10, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. JoJo

    @Gwenn

    Maybe Obama, and his wife haven't earned their title. Obama for Mr. President, and Michelle for First Lady.

    July 10, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Hall for Obama

    makesUwonder, you miss the boat, where have you been these last 8 years. I need the Pope prays but not because Obama is destroying this country. It is people like you who are destroying America with your hate. I feel sorry for you it must be hard on you to know America have a half black president that right he is half white so get over it. Stop with the KKK s-t. believe me when God call you I hope someone is there to pray for you, you will need it.

    July 10, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Paul

    God bless America, our President and the Holy Father

    Catholicism is about being universal,. about love and forgiveness, not about the hatred that seems to be imprinted in a few selfish hearts.

    May the Lord bless our nation and may we share our progress with the world, afterall we are one family, one, race, the human race.

    July 10, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    @been there July 10th, 2009 5:04 pm ET

    Steve (the real one) – If you were trying to establish that blanket statements could not be made about knucklehead Republicans you accomplished the opposite, knucklehead.
    ----------------------------
    I am telling you that blanket statments no matter who makes them, are wrong, and unfair, knuckhead!

    July 10, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Chris

    There you go, even our leaders don't trust the US Postal Service. They're probably asleep like that security guard.

    July 10, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. jaye

    I love our president!!!

    July 10, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Ren from Baltimore

    More negativity, even as regards a visit between the U.S. of A.'s president and the pope. What is the deal with these Republicans this time??

    Knock it off!

    July 10, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. kyle from ohio

    JoJo July 10th, 2009 5:08 pm ET

    @Gwenn

    Maybe Obama, and his wife haven't earned their title. Obama for Mr. President, and Michelle for First Lady.

    Speakin like a will informed person. Let's see fair election, transfer of power, hey New president and 1st lady. unless you live on another planet.

    July 10, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Dear Negative poster and naysayers,
    Did you know this article was about the president giving the pope a note? Shouldn't it take a little bit more than note passing to make you irate? It's not like Obama was consulting the pope on national policy...sheesh.

    P. S. get a grip!

    July 10, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. kyle from ohio

    JoJo July 10th, 2009 5:08 pm ET

    @Gwenn

    Maybe Obama, and his wife haven't earned their title. Obama for Mr. President, and Michelle for First Lady.

    Spoken like a well informed person Let's see fair election, transfer of power, hey New president and 1st lady. unless you live on another planet.

    July 10, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. skyhawkdriver

    What exactly would the hero of chappaquittic write to the pope??..that he is sorry for drowning an innocent woman in his car??or for consuming thousands of gallons of chivas??..or for being the son of a bootlegger??..or for chasing every skirt he saw..or for supporting the murder of unborn children??..hopefully the pope burned the letter

    July 10, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. No Hillary = No Obama

    To me the Catholic church is the eptiome of a sexist culture, chock-full-of males who feel superior to women. Obama won on his gender, not his Blackness. So it is fitting these two are all smiles.

    July 10, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. Daniel Kinsman

    I'm a conservative. Kennedy is a liberal who supported abortion and gay marriage. He knows his time is coming where he will stand before God. I'd pray for him. I don't want any one to fare badly at judgement because we will all be there. I'd pray for him. It's what we all should do. I pray for celebrities who die. The living can help those who die with their prayers. I don't want anyone to go to hell. Hell is the eternal loss of heaven and eternal loss of God never to see Him or feel him or experience Him in anyway,shape or form whatsoever and being consumed with evil for all eternity. That is what hell is. I don't wish that on anyone.

    July 10, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  24. Jim

    more republican sensationalizing a trivial non-issue.

    instead of nay-saying, when, oh WHEN are they going to even just try to come up with some plans for getting the problems we have under control?

    July 10, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. nom deplume

    Ren from Baltimore,

    You took the gloves off. Everything is fair game. What did you expect?
    Today, the internet. Tomorrow, the streets. And that will be a bad day for liberal snarkers.

    July 10, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
1 2 3