John Kerry off to the Vatican — but won’t meet with Pope Francis

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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.


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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.

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.

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