VATICAN CITY — Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer has finally crossed an important item off his personal bucket list: Meeting Pope Francis.
While visiting Italy with a group of legislators and politicians this week, Spicer got an audience with the pope, and was seen snapping photos and shaking his hand.
The story was first reported by America Media, a Catholic publication.
Spicer, a devout Catholic, was not part of a group of White House advisers who met the pope earlier this year when they traveled with President Donald Trump in May to the Vatican — a move widely viewed as a snub toward the then-press secretary.
Spicer fumed to colleagues after being excluded from the president’s meeting with Pope Francis, an administration official said at the time.
He was eagerly anticipating meeting the pope, but discovered at the last minute he was not on the shortlist of White House officials selected to join the president for the private audience.
Spicer assumed he would be on the list, the official said, adding that meeting the pope was one of the bucket-list items Spicer wanted to check off during his tenure as press secretary.
At the time, his removal from the visit raised fresh questions about Spicer’s standing as the chief White House spokesman.
Spicer cut his ties with the White House in late July when he resigned as press secretary.