Obama at Vatican for 1st meeting with Pope Francis

JIM KUHNHENN NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Published:

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- President Barack Obama is holding an historic first meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Obama arrived on an overcast morning at the Vatican's ornate grounds. After a slow procession, he was introduced to Pope Francis and the two shook hands.

Obama says at the start of the meeting that it's wonderful to meet with the Pope. He's calling it a great honor.

Archbishop Georg Ganswein escorted Obama into the meeting. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other top officials are accompanying the president at the Vatican.

Obama is the ninth president to make an official visit to the Vatican. It's a change of pace for Obama following three days of working to secure European unity against Russia's aggressive posture toward Ukraine.