U.S. News

Bush and pope prayed together for family

Pope Benedict XVI and President Bush attend the arrival ceremony for the pope on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, April 16, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pope Benedict and U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife Laura prayed together in the White House on Wednesday, the Vatican said.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said that the “brief prayer” took place after the pope and Bush had finished their private talks in the Oval Office and Laura Bush joined them.

“There was a brief prayer for the family (as an institution),” Lombardi said.

Bush is a Methodist. Both he and the Roman Catholic pope have said that the traditional family, based on the marriage of a man and a woman, is under threat.

Reporting by Philip Pullella, editing by Patricia Zengerle