President Barack Obama arrived at the Vatican Thursday amid the pomp and tradition of the Catholic Church to meet Pope Francis for the first time.
Some observers believe the White House is hoping the pope's popularity will boost Obama's shrinking favor and credibility.
The latest AP-GFK poll shows 59 percent of Americans disapprove of the president's job performance, the highest ever.
The president's meeting at the Vatican comes as the United States battles religious exemptions of the contraception mandate in Obamacare. The pope is an outspoken supporter of religous liberty and freedom.
President Obama is the ninth U.S. president to make an official visit to the Vatican.
He is expected invite the pope to visit America next year.
Is the relationship with the Holy See strained? Ambassador Francis Rooney, who also authored The Global Vatican, talks about this and more on Newswatch, March 26. Click play to watch.