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Joe Biden to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican


President Biden will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on October 29 ahead of his two-day summit with the leaders of the 20 largest economies, the White House said Thursday.

Mr. Biden, who is Catholic, will meet with the Pope on ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis and caring for the poor, the White House said in a statement.

First Lady Jill Biden will also attend the meeting with the Pontiff.

Mr. Biden first met Francis in 2015 at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. He then traveled to the Vatican in April 2016 to participate in the Regenerative Medicine Summit.

A Catholic who attends mass regularly, Mr. Biden has recently been criticized by some Catholic bishops in the United States for his support for abortion rights.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voted this summer to draft new guidelines on the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, that could result in the denial of the sacrament to politicians who support abortion laws.

Francis, who is expected to approve the new guidelines, has been silent on whether politicians should be denied Communion because of their stance on abortion.

When asked in September if he supported the ban, the pope warned bishops not to let politics get into communion questions, but reiterated that abortion was “homicide” and that the The Eucharist cannot be given to anyone who is not “in fellowship” with the church, although he declined to say whether pro-abortion politicians were not in fellowship.

After meeting with the Pope, Biden will attend the G-20 summit in Rome, where he will push for a global minimum tax of 15%, the White House said.

The president will then travel to Glasgow, Scotland, for the United Nations climate conference known as COP26, where he is expected to announce “key actions” to tackle climate change.

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