John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic President of the United States. For a predominately Protestant nation, this was a big deal. Many were afraid that his Catholicism would impact his decision-making and he would take orders from the Pope. However, Kennedy responded by saying:
“I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party candidate for president who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters – and the Church does not speak for me.”
Take a look at the full speech and audio here.