If you've ever wondered how the land lies in terms of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the United States , listen to our expert in this field. He's historian, Professor Gerald Fogarty SJ from the University of Virginia, who brings us the first in a two part series which takes us from 1783 to 1951.
If you do you'll discover how until the 1890's there were simply no United States Ambassadors appointed to the Holy See, how at one point in history Catholics weren't always exactly popular in this nation and also what happened during and after the Second World War on the path to improving diplomatic relations.
As Professor Fogarty explains things changed when John Fitzgerald Kennedy ran for presidency: :"..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 and was he in favour of financial federal aid to parochial schools? ... there was hesitation as whether or not the President could have a meeeting with the Pope .."