2013-11-21 18:00:35

Remembering President Kennedy fifty years on

(Vatican Radio) Friday 22nd of November marks the anniversary of the assassination of United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Gone down in history as the first Catholic President of the United States at the time of his presidential campaign in 1960, this candidate’s religion became a defining issue.
In an effort to shed light on this issue Veronica Scarisbrick speaks to Church historian, Jesuit Professor Gerald Fogarty:
"..it became one of the two crucial issues in the campaign of John Kennedy for President of the United States. Was he in favour of diplomatic relations with the Vatican? Was he in favour of financial federal aid to parochial schools? ... Anyway that's where the question rested then and there was hesitation as whether or not the President could even have any type of meeeting with the Pope: He actually did come over and meet with Paul VI. He tested it ahead of time because Vice President Lyndon Johnson came to see the Pope and then Jacqueline Kennedy came and there was no real upheaval..."
In this programme you can also hear a selection of Vatican Radio archive sound relating to the words of Paul VI to President Kennedy during an audience on July 2nd 1963. As well as Professor Fogarty's analysis of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the United States leading up to the election of President Kennedy.
Listen: RealAudioMP3

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