Last week’s press statement from the White House gives details about Obama’s upcoming trip to Italy, but so far there is no word of a stop at the Vatican.
The president will be in Italy to attend the Group of Eight (a.k.a. G8) meeting from July 8 to 10, during part of an international tour that also includes Russia and Ghana.
According to the National Catholic Register, the White House explained that the notable absence is because details of the president’s tour are still pending: “We won’t go into the details of who he’s meeting and the places he’ll be visiting until nearer the time,” a spokesman said.
Father Ciro Benedettini, deputy director of the Vatican Press Office, said the Holy See is “waiting” to hear from the U.S. administration, but that as of last week, no contact by the current administration has been made. Heads of state visiting Italy traditionally also visit the Pontiff.
The Vatican may be waiting for some time. Obama has yet to name a U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.