Update: Meeting between Pope Francis and President Biden did not happen
Pope Francis greets then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Vatican in this April 29, 2016. / Vatican Media
Vatican City, Jun 14, 2021 / 16:55 pm (CNA).
In a story June 14, 2021, about Joe Biden and Pope Francis, the Catholic News Agency, based on information provided by a source, erroneously reported that the U.S. President would meet with the pope on June 15. According to Vatican sources June 15, there is no meeting currently scheduled between Pope Francis and President Joe Biden.
A corrected version of the story is below:
President Joe Biden’s attendance at early morning Mass with Pope Francis was nixed from an early plan for the first meeting of both leaders, a reliable Vatican source told CNA.
President Biden is currently in Europe for several high level meetings, offering a potential opportunity to meet with Pope Francis. According to Vatican sources June 15, there is no meeting currently scheduled between the two men.
The President’s entourage had originally requested for Biden to attend Mass with the pope early in the morning, but the proposal was nixed by the Vatican after considering the impact that Biden receiving Holy Communion from the pope would have on the discussions the USCCB is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16.
The U.S. bishops are slated to vote on creating a committee that would draft a document about Eucharistic coherence.
President Biden is in Europe for several high-level meetings. After attending the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, he traveled to Brussels, Belgium. He wil then fly to Geneva, Switzerland, for his scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16.
Then U.S. Vice President Biden met with Pope Francis for the first time in September 2015, when the pope visited the United States to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
The following year, on April 29, 2016, Biden went to the Vatican for a summit on regenerative medicine, where he praised Pope Francis and advocated for a global push to cure cancer.
Biden opened his speech at the Vatican by recalling how, while visiting the United States the previous September, Pope Francis had comforted him after the loss of his eldest son Beau, who passed away the previous summer at the age of 46 from brain cancer.