Biden says he must attend reception for cardinals or 'lose soul'

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 Duffy (R-Wis.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Jeff Fortenberry (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.