Biden to meet the pope on second foreign trip

Biden to meet the pope on second foreign trip
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President Joe Biden, the country's second Catholic commander in chief, will meet Pope Francis when he and first lady Jill Biden head overseas this month for their second foreign trip.

"The president and Dr. Biden will also visit Vatican City and have an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis on Oct. 29," the White House announced Thursday. "They will discuss working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, and caring for the poor."

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Biden's faith has been thrust into the political spotlight as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops considers a measure that could prevent him and other public officials who support legal abortion, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, from receiving Holy Communion.

The organization's Committee on Doctrine is drafting "a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church," which could deny Biden the bread and wine sacrament. The move has been discouraged by the Vatican, which currently permits local bishops to exercise their own discretion. The statement will likely be published and voted on next month.

The Bidens' trip to Rome coincides with the G-20 Leaders’ Summit from Oct. 30-31 and the 26th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change's World Leader Summit in Scotland from Nov. 1-2.

Pelosi also met the pope last weekend, telling House Democrats, "It was a joyous occasion with an exchange of gifts."

"Books and mementos from His Holiness, and the Peace Bowl from the House with a request for him to pray for us written on it," she told her colleagues.

Biden has previously downplayed the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops's criticism of his pro-abortion policy positions.

“That’s a private matter, and I don’t think that’s going to happen," he told reporters in June.

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The Bidens flew to the United Kingdom and Europe in June for a host of meetings, including a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Tags: News, Biden, Biden Administration, Joe Biden, White House, Pope Francis

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: Biden to meet the pope on second foreign trip

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