WASHINGTON - First lady Jill Biden will meet Pope Francis in Europe this month at the Vatican, the White House announced on Thursday.
Biden will meet with the pope in Vatican City on Oct. 29, where they plan to discuss working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity, including ending the COVID - 19 pandemic, tackling climate crisis, and caring for the poor. Biden, who regularly attends mass, is the second Roman Catholic president in U.S. history :
A faction of conservative bishops in the U.S. have argued that Biden should be denied communion over his support for abortion rights. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is drafting new guidance that could instruct priests to deny communion to some public officials. Recently, Francis suggested to reporters that he does not support the effort.
The Bidens are traveling to Rome for the G 20 Leaders Summit scheduled for October 30 to 31. After the event, Biden is expected to visit Glasgow (Scotland) from Nov. 1 to 2 to attend the start of the 26th Conference of Parties to the U.N.M. This Framework Convention on Climate Change calls for action, the announcement said.
Ahead of the event, the Catholic Church and other religious leaders called for action on climate change, an issue that the pope has been outspoken about.
Pope Francis has been in the news over the last few months as he has called on better distribution around the world of vaccines Covid-19. He also spoke out against the execution of a death row inmate in Missouri who killed three people in a 1994 convenience store robbery whose lawyers contended were intellectually disabled