Biden, Pope Francis to discuss COVID-19, climate change, other issues in meeting at the Vatican

, Biden, Pope Francis to discuss COVID-19, climate change, other issues in meeting at the Vatican, The Evepost National News

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Oct. 29.

Biden and the pope “will discuss working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, and caring for the poor,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Thursday.

First lady Jill Biden also will attend the meeting.

, Biden, Pope Francis to discuss COVID-19, climate change, other issues in meeting at the Vatican, The Evepost National News

Biden’s meeting with the pope comes amid a debate over whether the nation’s second Catholic president should receive communion because of his support for abortion rights.

In June, the U.S. Catholic bishops overwhelmingly approved the drafting of a “teaching document” that many hope will rebuke Catholic politicians, including Biden, for receiving communion despite their support for abortion rights. 

Francis weighed in on the debate last month, saying he had never refused communion to anyone. Bishops should “be a pastor, don’t go condemning,” he said.

Biden’s meeting with the pope won’t be his first. Biden met Francis twice when he was vice president under President Barack Obama. 

Their first meeting was in 2015, when the pope attended the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Francis also received Biden at the Vatican in 2016, when Biden attended a conference on regenerative medicine and spoke about the need to find new cures for cancer.

Their meeting later this month will take place the day before Biden attends the G-20 summit of world leaders in Rome on Oct. 30-31.

Afterward, Biden will travel to Glasgow, Scotland, where he will participate in a World Leader Summit at the start of U.N. COP26 climate conference on Nov. 1-2.

Michael Collins covers the White House. Follow him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.

More:Why Joe Biden’s faith-based ‘equity’ agenda is getting pushback from religious conservatives

More:Would you get COVID-19 vaccine if the pope asked you to? He calls it ‘an act of love.’

, Biden, Pope Francis to discuss COVID-19, climate change, other issues in meeting at the Vatican, The Evepost National News

, Biden, Pope Francis to discuss COVID-19, climate change, other issues in meeting at the Vatican, The Evepost National News