Obama Asks Pope to Pray for Kennedy

Posted July 10, 2009 at 1:58pm

President Barack Obama on Friday asked Pope Benedict XVI to pray for the ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who has been battling brain cancer. Obama, who met with the pontiff at the Vatican, also delivered to the pope a letter from Kennedy, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Gibbs said the contents of the letter were not known to the White House.Gibbs said Obama and the pope discussed a variety of matters and concluded their session with a discussion of Kennedy.The president “asked that the Holy Father pray for Kennedy, who as we all know is ill and whose brother obviously broke an important barrier in our country by being the first Catholic president elected of the United States,— Gibbs said.After the meeting, Obama spoke with Kennedy by phone for about 10 minutes to tell him he had delivered the letter. Kennedy has been absent from the Senate for much of the last year as he battles the cancer, first discovered in May 2008.