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Update: Meeting between Pope Francis and President Biden did not happen

By CNA Staff

Then-Vice President Joe Biden meeting Pope Francis after both leaders spoke at a conference on adult stem cell research at the Vatican April 29, 2016. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vatican City, Jun 14, 2021 / 16:55 pm (CNA).

In a story June 14, 2021, about Joe Biden and Pope Francis, the Catholic News Agency, based on information provided by a source, erroneously reported that the U.S. President would meet with the pope on June 15. According to Vatican sources June 15, there is no meeting currently scheduled between Pope Francis and President Joe Biden.

A corrected version of the story is below:

President Joe Biden’s attendance at early morning Mass with Pope Francis was nixed from an early plan for the first meeting of both leaders, a reliable Vatican source told CNA.

President Biden is currently in Europe for several high level meetings, offering a potential opportunity to meet with Pope Francis. According to Vatican sources June 15, there is no meeting currently scheduled between the two men.

The President’s entourage had originally requested for Biden to attend Mass with the pope early in the morning, but the proposal was nixed by the Vatican after considering the impact that Biden receiving Holy Communion from the pope would have on the discussions the USCCB is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16.

The U.S. bishops are slated to vote on creating a committee that would draft a document about Eucharistic coherence.

President Biden is in Europe for several high-level meetings. After attending the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, he traveled to Brussels, Belgium. He wil then fly to Geneva, Switzerland, for his scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16.

Then U.S. Vice President Biden met with Pope Francis for the first time in September 2015, when the pope visited the United States to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

The following year, on April 29, 2016, Biden went to the Vatican for a summit on regenerative medicine, where he praised Pope Francis and advocated for a global push to cure cancer.

Biden opened his speech at the Vatican by recalling how, while visiting the United States the previous September, Pope Francis had comforted him after the loss of his eldest son Beau, who passed away the previous summer at the age of 46 from brain cancer.


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14 Comments

  1. We read: “…but the proposal [Mass with the pope] was nixed by the Vatican after considering the impact that President Biden receiving Holy Communion from the Pope would have on the discussions the USCCB is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16.”

    Are we to understand from the presumptive CNA (?) that, except for the untimely optics, Pope Francis actually would have distributed the Eucharist to Biden? Really? Or, instead, maybe the decision was for the pope to NOT be seen withholding the Eucharist? I’d rather think that even the Vatican might have learned something from the photo-op, with the pope, given to LGBTQXYZ wonder-boy James Martin, S.J. (Sept. 30, 2019).

    But, in all such cases, do we not long for the forthright model of Pope St. John Paul II? As when he visited Nicaragua in 1983 and openly scolded the kneeling priest, Ernesto Cardenal, on the Managua airport runway—for resisting his order to resign from the government: “Usted tiene que arreglar sus asuntos con la Iglesia” —”You must fix your affairs with the Church!”

    Yes, not exactly the same situation now with Biden…Cardenal was a priest doubling as a government official, while Biden is a government official masquerading as a lay Catholic leader. But, still, of Eucharistic coherence—”You must fix your affairs with the Church!”

  2. Your question – “Are we to understand from the presumptive CNA (?) that, except for the untimely optics, Pope Francis actually would have distributed the Eucharist to Biden?”

    Your question sounds rhetorical to me, which is certainly justifiable, and this is kind of sad, but I see it like this – it’s a start. At the least the Pope realizes that this is a problem.

  3. What a wonderful opportunity for our Pope and our President to have a one-on-one discussion on the status of the President’s soul! The Pope has a duty to help the President look at his soul and contemplate his destiny.

    • Yes, but honestly speaking, what is the statistical probability that that conversation will take place? Knowing Francis and Biden, I think zero is a good guess.

  4. I hope the USCCB members will see this as the directive from Pope Francis to continue their discussion on Eucharistic coherence, which has been a settled matter for centuries. Both Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are clear on the subject that Catholics in mortal sin (promoting abortion, gender fluidity, same sex marriage, etc.) should not present themselves for Holy Communion. Young children are taught this in preparation for the Sacrament. It is really a fundamental teaching that needs no further clarification. The bishops need to reinforce Catholic teaching again, because that’s the job with which they’ve been entrusted. Be shepherds. The sheep need you to guide them in the right paths to the field of eternal life.

    • What discussion?? We’ve had dialogue about this whole abortion and Catholic politician thing since 1973! How much more is there to be said, oops excuse me, to be dialogued? Our bishops do not want to touch this issue. The USCCB is just preparing to kick(again) that can down the road, research it again, create committees, let’s not be hasty kind of thing as pro-abortion Catholic politicians continue time and again to rub more feces into the faces of the bishops. The only reason Pelosi, Biden et al continue to defy the Church is because they know they can and nothing will be done about it.

  5. For one Beaulieu refers to mere optics related to the upcoming USCCB discussions. A desultory rationale. Another, the Vatican is doctrinally opposed. Then, another, would an affirmative be contrary to plan, that is if we, and there are others who perceive a conspiratorial strategy to change doctrine not abruptly rather painfully, inexorably slowly. If the reader is among the conspiratorialists [as the writer is after 8 years of observation] a Ja would for Vatican strategists be disastrous. Too soon evoking outcry, perhaps even waking up some clergy both low and high. So Nicht or Nix is certainly according to plan lulling the somnolent to continue their peaceful repose. What, seriously speaking, most certainly should have been announced from the Vatican was reaffirmation of Catholic doctrine, that such a blasphemous act, a Pope giving communion to such a zealous public advocate of abortion and sexual depravity contradicts Eucharistic Cohesion. As well as moral sanity.

  6. The Vicar of Ambiguity went some of the distance but he could have locked up a witness for the truth in one act. He never fails to fall short — at best.

  7. Obviously if the Pope gives communion to Biden, he will violate Canon 915. If he refuses, he will alienate the SJW Bishops like Cupich and Tobin. So to avoid scandal and negative ramifications, he took a third option.

  8. Come on man, no Biden at UND commencement, no Biden receiving the Eucharist from the Pope, I take these as wins for the Catholic faithful. Thank you Lord.

  9. With a prescript rejoinder explaining this was an erroneous report shows how the EWTN-owned Catholic News Agency is purveyor of fake news. It quickly crafted this report even though its source was unreliable just because this pictured President Biden in a negative light. CWR should be cautious in getting reports from CNA. This lying violates the 8th commandment.

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