The Pope gave America an $8 million Bible, and America gave the Pope a metal bird and an old key

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It can't be easy to shop for someone who's infallible. Still, America is getting completely owned by the Vatican when it comes to quality gift-giving.


According to NBC, Pope Francis came to America bearing a gift for the Library of Congress: "an extremely rare Bible that cost an estimated $8 million to produce." The Bible, which was commissioned by a Benedictine abbey, is "believed to be the first handwritten and illuminated bible produced since the invention of the printing press." Good gift!

What did President Obama gave Pope Francis in return? Well, ABC reports that it wasn't exactly a fair exchange:

The president presented the pope with a one-of-a-kind sculpture of an ascending dove, which serves as an international symbol of peace as well as the Christian symbol for the Holy Spirit, a White House official said … The president also gave Pope Francis a 206-year-old key from the home of Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was the first native-born American to be declared a saint and was canonized 40 years ago.

A bird sculpture and an old key? Ooooo…..kay?

Granted, it's the thought that counts. And the sculpture Pope Francis received does sound pretty neat. (It was made by combining metal from the Statue of Liberty with "historic wood reclaimed from the White House lawn.")

Anyway, President Obama's gift is way better than what happened when he and Pope Francis met a year ago. That time, the Pope gave President Obama a thoughtful present of "two commemorative medals and a red leather-bound copy of Evaneglii Gaudium," and President Obama gave him some old seeds from his garden in return.

Baby steps!