The following commentary is from the EWTN series, The Papacy: A Living History, The Papal Artifacts Collection of Father Richard Kunst. It is from the first episode of Season 2: The Canonization of Pope John Paul the Great. A DVD of Season 2 will be available from EWTN in 2015.
The commentary provided here is a compilation of the conversation between Father Richard Kunst, the Papal Artifacts’ Expert, and his co-host, Father Ryan Moravitz.
We talked about how Pope John Paul went to Poland early in his pontificate, and he also came to the United States early in his pontificate. As a matter of fact it was 1979 during President Jimmy Carter’s time, and he went to the White House as one of the things he did
while he was here. It’s the first time that a pope ever went to the White House. And so this is actually a copy of the program that Jimmy Carter distributed at the White House to the people at that event.
Again, for me, (Father Moravitz), it’s looking at the Holy Father reaching out to all people—to leaders of nations and to the poorest of the poor. We see him in photographs, and when we look at his life, we realize he met with presidents. I was looking at a picture of him with some other world leaders this past week as I was doing some research.
But you also see him with Mother Teresa, going through her hospitals, and in places such as that, throughout the world. What an inspiring example of the call that Christ gives us to reach out to all. And, again, his holiness and his sanctity are really revealed then.
(Father Kunst) This also shows us the longevity of his pontificate. This is Jimmy Carter. He was pope all the way up to George W. Bush. And so we have photos of him with all those presidents. It gives us a sense of the length of his pontificate and how long he was our Holy Father.
Inside of Invitation:
THE PRESIDENT AND MRS. CARTER
Welcome You To
THE WHITE HOUSE
ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT OF
JOHN PAUL II
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1979