Biden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit

Pope Francis and President Biden in two images.
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President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will have an audience with Pope Francis on Oct. 29, the White House announced on Thursday. 

“They will discuss working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, and caring for the poor,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement. 

The president will then attend the Group of 20 (G-20) Leaders’ Summit on Oct. 30 and 31 in Rome. Psaki said more information about individual bilateral meetings on the margins of the summit will be forthcoming.

Biden will travel from Rome to Glasgow to participate in the World Leader Summit at the start of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on Nov. 1 and 2. 

Biden, only the second Catholic president in U.S. history, has faced backlash from American bishops over his stance on abortion. The president regularly goes to church and touts his faith as a deeply personal aspect of his life.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted in June to proceed with drafting a formal statement on the meaning of Holy Communion, which will include whether pro-choice politicians like Biden should be denied it.

The decision runs counter to the wishes of the pope, who has cautioned American bishops against denying communion to politicians and warned that communion can’t be used as a political weapon. 

Earlier this month, Biden nominated former Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) to serve as ambassador to the Holy See.

Tags Biden family Catholicism Jen Psaki Jill Biden Joe Biden Joe Donnelly Pope Pope Francis
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