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 DuffyFlood insurance overhaul is progressing in House Puerto Rico statehood bid a total failure GOP rep dismisses Mueller probe: 'What the hell are we investigating?' MORE (R-Wis.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Jeff FortenberryJeff FortenberrySecurity fears grow on both sides of aisle VA eyes building closures to boost care under Trump Republicans fearing for their safety as anger, threats mount 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.