President BidenJoe Biden Former lawmakers sign brief to counter Trump’s claims of executive privilege in January 6 probe Biden appoints Sara Minkara as special adviser to the US on international rights of persons with disabilities Fox poll shows that Youngkin leads McAuliffe by 8 points among likely voters MORE on Friday I had a long and warm meeting with Pope FranciscoPope Francis Night Defense & National Security – Republican Party Dissatisfied With Afghan Background Check When Biden Visits Pope, Weather Expected To Top The Agenda Vatican Abruptly Cancels Livestream Of Biden Meeting With Pope Francis MORE, which included jokes, laughter, and a gift exchange.
“The commitment between the two was very warm when the delegation arrived in the room. There was laughter and a clear relationship between President Biden and Pope Francis, “said a White House official.
During the 90-minute meeting, Biden gave the Pope a presidential challenge coin and called him “the greatest warrior for peace I have ever met.” NBC reported citing Vatican television.
“I know my son would want me to give him this,” the pope said, referring to his late son Beau Biden.
The president also joked with Francis, saying that the next time they see each other, the Pope has to buy drinks if he doesn’t have the coin. Biden, who does not drink alcohol, joked that he is the first Irishman the Pope has met who does not drink.
Biden also gave the Pope a 1930 hand-woven chasuble that is kept in the archives of Holy Trinity Church in Washington, DC, where Biden attends Mass, and is used by the Pope’s Jesuit order. The Pope gave Biden a ceramic tile and his teaching papers.
Biden gave Pope Francis a 1930 hand-woven chasuble.
Francisco gave Biden a painting on a ceramic tile, this year’s Message of Peace, the Document on Human Fraternity, and a book chronicling Francisco’s extraordinary urbi et orbi in 2020, where he prayed for an end to COVID. pic.twitter.com/lEB0bdItES
– Christopher White (@cwwhiteNCR) October 29, 2021
Biden also spoke to the Pope about Satchel Paige, the pioneering Black baseball pitcher, and joked about their ages. CNN reported.
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? You are 65 years old. I’m 60 years old, ”Biden said.
This was the fourth meeting between Biden, 78, and Pope Francis, 84.
“God I love you,” Biden said at the end of the meeting.
The White House said that, during the meeting, Biden thanked the Pope for his defense of the world’s poor and those who suffer from hunger, conflict and persecution.
He also “praised” the Pope’s leadership in the fight against the climate crisis and his advocacy to ensure an end to the COVID-19 pandemic “through the exchange of vaccines and a fair global economic recovery.”
Biden told reporters that their meeting was “wonderful” later Friday when he came to a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
The Vatican released photographs of the two men together and of the Pope receiving gifts from the president. There was no live broadcast of the meeting after the Vatican abruptly canceled its plans on Thursday.
The last time a president held a one-on-one meeting at the Vatican was President TrumpDonald Trump Former lawmakers sign brief to counter Trump’s claims of executive privilege in January 6 probe Fox poll shows Youngkin leads McAuliffe by 8 points among potential voters Iowa legislature passes redistribution proposal of districts MORE in 2017, and the meeting lasted half an hour.
For comparison, according to the 2017 group reports, the Trump-Francis individual meeting began after 8:31 a.m. and ended at 9:01 a.m.
So today’s Biden meeting was almost 3 times as long.
– Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) October 29, 2021
The president also met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, and also thanked him for the Vatican’s leadership in the fight against the climate crisis. They talked about vaccinating the world against COVID-19.
In addition, the president thanked Parolin for speaking on behalf of those unjustly detained, especially in Venezuela and Cuba, and both pledged to defend personal and religious freedom worldwide.