Biden to have audience with Pope Francis on trip to Rome

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“They will discuss working together on efforts based on respect for basic human dignity, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis and caring for the poor,” Psaki said in a statement.

Biden, a longtime devout Catholic who attends weekly mass, will meet with the Pope in Vatican City on October 29, Psaki said. The G20 Leaders’ Summit is taking place October 30-31 in Rome.

The Pope said last month that bishops debating whether to deny Communion to public figures who support abortion rights should make their decisions from a “pastoral” perspective, not a political one.

“The problem is not theological, it is pastoral,” Francis told reporters. “How we bishops deal with this principle. We are to be pastors, also with those who are excommunicated. Like God with passion and tenderness. The Bible says so.”

Biden has said he’s personally opposed to abortion but doesn’t think he should impose his views on the rest of society.

The President often wears his late son Beau’s rosary on his wrist and frequently speaks about the important role his faith plays in his life, especially in helping him through grief.

Biden’s first wife and baby girl were killed in 1972 in a car crash just after winning her seat in the United States Senate. Beau Biden, an Iraq War veteran who served as Delaware’s attorney general, died of brain cancer in 2015 at the age of 46.

Biden’s faith was woven into his messages during the 2020 presidential campaign. His speeches, especially during the campaign, often included quotes from Scripture and Catholic hymns, as well as references to nuns and priests with which he had learned in school.

During the 2020 Democratic primary, Biden dropped his long-standing support for the measure that prevents the use of federal funds for most abortions, called the Hyde Amendment. Biden said at the time that he changed his mind because Republican state lawmakers passed laws making access to abortion more difficult for women who cannot afford the procedure or move to get it.

More recently, Biden said last month that a Texas state law banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy was “almost un-American,” and called it an “unprecedented attack on constitutional rights. of a woman “as guaranteed by Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed the legality of a woman’s right to have an abortion.

This story has been updated with additional background information.


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