- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 14, 2021

President Biden will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 29 ahead of his two-day summit with leaders of the 20 largest economies, the White House said Thursday.

Mr. Biden, who is Catholic, will speak with the pope about ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis and caring for the poor, the White House said in a statement.

First lady Jill Biden will also attend the meeting with the pontiff.

Mr. Biden met Francis for the first time in 2015 at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. He later visited the Vatican in April 2016 to participate in the regenerative medicine summit.

A Catholic who attends Mass regularly, Mr. Biden has recently come under fire from some Roman Catholic bishops in the U.S. for his support of abortion rights.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this summer voted to draft new guidance on the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, that could result in denying the sacrament to politicians who support abortion legislation.

Francis, who would have to approve the new guidance, has been mum on whether politicians should be denied Communion because of their abortion stance.

When asked in September if he supported the ban, the pope warned bishops not to let politics enter into questions about receiving Communion, but repeated that abortion was “homicide” and the Eucharist cannot be given to anyone who is not “in communion” with the church, though he declined to say if pro-abortion politicians were out of Communion.

After he meets with the pope, Mr. Biden will attend the G-20 summit in Rome, where he will push for a Global Minimum Tax of 15 percent, the White House said.

The president will then travel to Glasgow Scotland, for the United Nations climate conference known as COP26, where he is slated to announce “key actions” on fighting climate change.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide