The White House announced on Thursday that US President Joe Biden, America’s second Catholic President and his wife Jill will be in an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican on October 29.
Biden’s visit to the Vatican will take place on October 30-31 before attending the G20 summit in Rome. From Italy, he is scheduled to travel to Glasgow for the COP26 climate change summit.
“They will discuss working together on efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic, address the climate crisis, and support fundamental human dignity, including caring for the poor,” the White House said in a statement.
Biden, 78, is a practicing Catholic who attends Mass at least once a week. John F Kennedy was the country’s first Catholic president.
Biden frequently quotes scriptures, and sometimes wears a wreath around his left wrist from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico that his son Beau wore on the day of his death from brain cancer in 2015.
When Biden took office, the Pope warmly congratulated him and said he expected the new president’s decisions to be “guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom.”
Acknowledging that Biden has his work cut out for him, the pontiff wished him success in promoting “understanding, reconciliation, and peace within the United States.”
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