Vice President Biden on Monday said he had to attend a reception for U.S. cardinals attending Pope Francis's inaugural mass or he would "lose" his soul.

Biden is the Obama administratin's emissary to Vatican City for the new pope's inaugural mass. His comments came during a meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.

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"We invited the American cardinals to a reception," Biden said to Nikolic according to a White House pool report. "So unless I'm prepared to join the Eastern Orthodox Church, as a Roman Catholic, I'd better show up or I'll lose my soul."

The delegation Biden is leading includes New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez ( R) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

A number of other House lawmakers also travelled to the Vatican for the inaugural mass. That group, lead by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), includes Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Sean DuffySean Patrick DuffyThe Republican tax bill will cut thousands of Puerto Rico jobs Rep. Hensarling will push deregulation until retirement GOP lawmaker: Trump-Tillerson tensions are part of the president's 'strategy' MORE (R-Wis.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Jeff FortenberryJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FortenberryWe vowed to help persecuted religious minorities — it’s time to act Kurds, Iraqi Christians want democracy for themselves Rep: Charlie Gard granted permanent residence status MORE (R-Neb.), Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), Jim Langevin (R-R.I.), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.).

The reception is meant for members of the delegation as well as U.S. officials in Rome.