Rumors From Vatican: Bush May Convert

Sit-down with pope sparks talk that prez could turn Catholic
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2008 1:45 PM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI welcomes US President George W. Bush upon his arrival at the Vatican Gardens, Friday, June 13, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – President Bush visited Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican yesterday, sparking rumors that the president may convert to Catholicism, the Telegraph reports. They spoke in a garden where the pontiff prays daily, not in the library where Benedict greets most world leaders. “What an honor!” said Bush, who has been called the most “Catholic-minded” president since JFK.

Benedict wished to reward Bush for the “warmth” he received during a recent US visit, the Vatican said. But it fumed over Italian media talk that Bush, a Methodist, might convert after leaving office, the Independent reports. The idea isn't without precedent: Tony Blair converted after his tenure as PM, and Jeb Bush converted before marrying.