- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was en route to the Vatican on Tuesday for a meeting with a leading church diplomat — but probably not Pope Francis.

It’s not the usual custom for the pope to meet with any foreign politicos who aren’t actual heads of the nation, The Associated Press reported.

Still, Mr. Kerry’s visit will be historical. He’ll be the first American Catholic secretary of state to step foot in the Vatican for a formal visit in 30 years, since the days of Edmund Muskie, secretary of state in 1980-1981 under former President Jimmy Carter. AP reported that he’s scheduled to visit with the Vatican’s counterpart to his role — with Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin.


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Mr. Kerry’s stop at the Vatican is a sidebar to his visit to Kuwait to discuss humanitarian aid to Syrian civilians later this week.