July 10, 2009.
During the 40-minute meeting behind closed doors, President Obama told the pope that the G8 summit talks held in L’Aquila, Italy, were “very productive.” They also touched on issues like drug trafficking, the peace process in the Middle East, and development aid for Africa and Latin America.
Benedict XVI received President Barack Obama in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
After a brief meeting with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Obama was escorted by Swiss Guards to the pope’s library. President Obama"It’s a great honor. Thank you so much.”
In the traditional exchange of gifts, Benedict presented Obama and his wife Michelle with a mosaic of St. Peter’s Square, and signed copies of his new encyclical “Charity in Truth,” which Obama said he’d read on the plane, and the Vatican instruction “Dignitas Personae,” dedicated to bioethics.
In return, Obama gave the pope a stole that’s a relic of Saint John Neumann, the first American citizen who became saint.
Upon saying their goodbyes, Obama told the pope he hoped relations between the Vatican and the United States continue to strengthen.