By: Konrad Holden
On Thursday, Vatican officials canceled the live broadcast of Pope Francis greeting President Joe Biden, who is a Catholic. Traditionally, the press pool is allowed to broadcast the pair’s first meeting. Vatican officials cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for not allowing the live broadcast, though apparently, this reasoning has not extended to other papal events.
On Friday, President Joe Biden sat down with Pope Francis at the Vatican. This marks the second Catholic U.S. President to make such a visit.
At the last minute on Thursday, the Vatican canceled all live broadcasts of the Pope and President meeting, citing COVID-19 concerns. Under normal conditions, the press would be allowed to broadcast the duo’s first meeting and their exchange of gifts as they sit down in the Pope’s library. Outside press will only be able to film the President arriving in his motorcade and greeting a Vatican official.
Instead, the Vatican said they would release edited footage of the meeting.
The meeting is being watched closely due to the upcoming fall meeting of U.S. bishops. Many think the bishops will release a sharp rebuke of the President over his views on abortion.
According to Biden, the Pope did not bring up his views on abortion and the pair had a cordial talk. Biden reported that the Pope said he should keep receiving communion and blessed his rosary.
“We just talked about the fact he was happy that I was a good Catholic, and I should keep receiving communion." - President Joe Biden
“You are the most significant warrior for peace I’ve ever met.” - President Joe Biden to Pope Francis