|President Obama mentioned Pope Francis in his recent State of the Union address.|
Pope Francis was mentioned by President Obama in his recent State of the Union address, marking the third time in U.S. history a pope has been referred to during this speech.
Obama praised Pope Francis’ diplomatic abilities. “As His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of 'small steps.' These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba,” Obama said.
Pope Francis has been credited with helping the United States and Cuba re-open diplomatic relations with each other. He sent personal letters to leaders of both countries, and the Vatican was host to many talks between the United States and Cuba.
While many popes have influenced diplomatic relations throughout history, only two other presidents have mentioned a pope in their State of the Union addresses. The first was President Lyndon B. Johnson, who mentioned Pope Paul VI. The second, President Bill Clinton, who spoke about Pope John Paul II.
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