The two most powerful Catholics in the world meet

President Biden first met Pope Francis at the Vatican, an event described as “bringing together the two most powerful Catholics in the world”.

US President Joe Biden arrived at the Vatican on October 29 for a 75-minute closed-door meeting with Pope Francis. At the end of the conversation, Biden and Pope Francis stayed at the Vatican for another 15 minutes to exchange gifts.

Pope Francis presented Biden with documents and a ceramic tile painting depicting pilgrims on their way to St. Peter. The President of the United States gave the Pope a ceremonial robe made in 1930.

US President Joe Biden (front row, left) and Pope Francis (front row, right) at the Vatican on October 29.  Photo: AFP.

US President Joe Biden (front row, left) and Pope Francis (front row, right) at the Vatican on October 29. Photo: AFP.

Biden has met Pope Francis three times before, but this is the first time he has spoken to the Pope as US President, making this a meeting of the two most powerful Catholics in the world.

US officials previously said Biden and the pope would discuss migration, climate change and income inequality. However, the Vatican did not broadcast live the meeting of Biden and Pope Francis. A Vatican spokesman said the decision was made in accordance with Covid-19 prevention regulations.

This is Biden’s second international trip as President of the United States. After his meeting with Pope Francis, Biden is scheduled to meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron. The US President will attend the G20 summit in Rome, Italy on October 30-31.

Biden is the second president in US history to be Catholic, after John F. Kennedy. He is considered a religious man, regularly attending Masses and placing a picture of Pope Francis in the Oval Office at the White House. Biden and his wife accompanied Pope Francis on his 2015 trip to the United States.

Nguyen Tien (Follow Washington Post)

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