Biden to meet with Pope Francis to discuss COVID-19, climate

  • FILE - In this April 29, 2016, file photo Pope Francis shakes hands with Vice President Joe Biden as he takes part in a congress on the progress of regenerative medicine and its cultural impact, being held in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican. President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the U.K. for global economic and climate change meetings.

    FILE - In this April 29, 2016, file photo Pope Francis shakes hands with Vice President Joe Biden as he takes part in a congress on the progress of regenerative medicine and its cultural impact, being held in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican. President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the U.K. for global economic and climate change meetings. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2015, file photo Pope Francis, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, waves to the crowd on Capitol Hill in Washington as they stand on the Speaker's Balcony on Capitol Hill, after the pope addressed a joint meeting of Congress inside. President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the U.K. for global economic and climate change meetings.

    FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2015, file photo Pope Francis, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, waves to the crowd on Capitol Hill in Washington as they stand on the Speaker's Balcony on Capitol Hill, after the pope addressed a joint meeting of Congress inside. President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the U.K. for global economic and climate change meetings. Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2015, file photo Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Pope Francis on Capitol Hill in Washington, prior to the pope's address to a joint meeting of Congress, making history as the first pontiff to do so. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is at right. President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the U.K. for global economic and climate change meetings.

    FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2015, file photo Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Pope Francis on Capitol Hill in Washington, prior to the pope's address to a joint meeting of Congress, making history as the first pontiff to do so. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is at right. President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the U.K. for global economic and climate change meetings. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/14/2021 11:52 AM

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the U.K. for global economic and climate change meetings.

Biden plans to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis and poverty during his meeting with the pope, according to the White House. The meeting will take place on Oct. 29, and Biden will then attend a two-day summit of G-20 leaders in Rome, before heading to Glasgow, Scotland for the U.N. climate conference known as COP26.

 

Biden, who is Roman Catholic, often speaks of his faith in public and attends Mass every weekend. But his political views, including his support for gay marriage and abortion rights, have at times put him at odds with Catholic doctrine and brought controversy and criticism from some leaders of the Catholic church.

Earlier this year, a number of Catholic bishops proposed drafting a document that would rebuke Biden and other Catholic politicians for receiving Communion despite their support for abortion rights. The issue of Communion is expected to be discussed at the bishops' national meeting in mid-November, but any document that emerges is not expected to mention Biden or other politicians by name.

Biden has met with Pope Francis three times before - first, when Francis was inaugurated as pope, in 2013, later during the pope's 2015 visit to the U.S., and again in 2016, when Biden visited the Vatican for a conference on regenerative medicine, where he spoke on cancer prevention. He keeps a photo of one of his meetings with the pope behind his desk in the Oval Office.

First lady Jill Biden will join her husband for his meeting with the pope.

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