US President Joe Biden (far left) arrives at the Vatican to meet Pope Francis on October 29 – Photo: REUTERS
President Biden began this trip abroad with an audience with Pope Francis. He will then attend the G20 Summit in Rome (Italy) and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Post-26th (COP26) in Glasgow (UK).
Swiss Guards in their traditional red, yellow and blue uniforms greeted President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden, as they and the American delegation arrived at the San Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. The American flag flew from the central balcony.
Mr. Biden and Pope Francis have met three times, but this is the first time they have met since Mr. Biden became US president.
According to CNN, strict restrictions were imposed on the press during the meeting. Independent journalists will not be allowed to see President Biden and Pope Francis meet, and no live video of the meeting will be transmitted.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the meeting was expected to address Biden and Pope Francis’ personal relationship as Catholics and other important world issues. They discuss climate, migration and income inequality.
However, according to AFP news agency, the question is whether either of them raised the issue of abortion. Biden supports the right to choose abortion, while Pope Francis, 84, considers abortion “murder”.
US President Joe Biden (left) and Pope Francis – Photo: REUTERS
Mr. Biden is the second US president to become Catholic, after the late John F. Kennedy.
Biden is the 14th US president to meet the Pope at the Vatican. President Woodrow Wilson was the first to do so in 1919.
Earlier, the Vatican abruptly canceled the live stream of the meeting between Biden and Pope Francis. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that after the meeting, the Vatican would broadcast video of some scenes of Biden’s appearance and greetings to the Pope.