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Biden Met With Pope Francis for 75 Minutes

Biden se reunió en privado con el papa Francisco durante 75 minutos

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Pope Francis and President Joe Biden met today at the Vatican for about 75 minutes, the Holy See press office reported.

The private meeting lasted much longer than other conversations the pope has had with visiting heads of state and government, and gifts were exchanged afterward.

The delegation included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and First Lady Jill Biden.

After this first meeting with Francis, Biden met with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

The president presented the pope with a 1930 hand-embroidered chasuble from the Society of Jesus, which belongs to the collection of Holy Trinity Church in Washington.

The Vatican does not usually inform in advance of meetings and is expected to issue a statement.

On this occasion, the Vatican decided to cancel, without explanation, the live broadcast of the meeting, while it had done so with Trump and Obama, and limited itself only to giving the arrival.

Biden is the second Catholic American president after John Kennedy, who visited Paul VI in July 1963, a few weeks after his election as pontiff.

The Democratic president is visiting the Vatican amid criticism from the Catholic hierarchy in the U.S. for his pro-abortion stance.

This audience also comes two weeks before the fall assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

That meeting will discuss a document on the Eucharist that some members of the curia want to approve in order to forbid politicians who are in favor of abortion to receive the Eucharist, including Biden and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, also a Democrat, Nancy Pelosi.

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