When first lady Melania Trump finally moves into the White House this summer, she will become its first Roman Catholic resident in more than 50 years.
Following Wednesday’s trip to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis, Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, confirmed to the Daily Mail that the first lady is, in fact, a practicing Catholic. This will make her the first Catholic living at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. since John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, in the early 1960s. President Donald Trump is Presbyterian.
Anti-Catholic prejudice was part of the American mainstream when Kennedy was campaigning to become president on the Democratic ticket in 1960. He said that year that he would not let his faith interfere with his responsibility to the public if elected.
“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference; and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him,” Kennedy said.
Trump, born Melanija Knavs in Communist Slovenia, became the second Catholic first lady to meet with a pope with her family’s visit to the Vatican this week, Philly.com noted. (Jackie Kennedy was the first.) During the trip, FLOTUS ― who wore a long-sleeved black dress with a black mantilla in line with traditional rules ― had a set of rosary beads blessed by Francis.
She and son Barron are reportedly set to move to the White House full time in June. For now, they are living in Trump Tower in New York.
Melania Trump’s spokeswoman didn’t immediately answer a request for comment.