Pope Francis and Pres. Joe Biden Meeting: Why Did It Not Happen?
Pope Francis did not meet President Joe Biden on Tuesday despite reports that the two would meet. Vatican sources said Tuesday, June 15, that there is no meeting currently scheduled between Pope Francis and Joe Biden.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, the president was due to travel to Geneva, Switzerland on June 15 for an anticipated encounter with Russian President Vladimir Putin the next day.
Joe Biden has been in Europe since June 9 for his first trip abroad as president, attending several high-level meetings with a potential opportunity to meet with Pope Francis.
Earlier reports said that the president would make a quick stopover in Rome to meet with Pope Francis on the way from Brussels to Geneva, but it did not happen.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's foreign minister, told NCR that he did not know any plans for such a visit between the president and the pope.
Public affairs officer at the U.S. embassy to the Holy See Emily Zeeberg also told NCR that Biden has no plans to visit the Vatican City or Rome this week.
Biden's official schedule for June 15 did not leave much room for changes. He was set to hold private meetings with the king and prime minister of Belgium.
He was also scheduled to meet with the European Council and Commission's presidents before going to Geneva to meet the president of the Swiss Confederation.
Joe Biden and Pope Francis Meeting
Biden's staff had initially asked for permission to attend a Mass with the pope early in the morning of June 15. However, the proposal was nixed by the Vatican after considering the effect of Biden receiving the Holy Communion from the pope, Catholic News Agency reported.
Biden's receiving Holy Communion from Pope Francis would reportedly affect the discussions that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) plans to have during their meeting starting June 16.
The American bishops are set to vote on creating a committee that would outline a document about Eucharistic coherence. Joe Biden, the U.S.' second Catholic president, supports access to abortion, which the church condemns.
Biden and Pope Francis first met in September 2015 when Biden was still serving as the U.S. vice president. The meeting happened when the pope visited the U.S. to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
In April 2016, Biden went to the Vatican for a summit on regenerative medicine. He praised Pope Francis and advocated for a global effort to find a cure for cancer.
Joe Biden and Queen Elizabeth II
Joe Biden has become the 13th U.S. president to meet Queen Elizabeth II after having a private visit at Windsor Castle, NPR reported.
Biden told reporters about his meeting with the queen that she was very gracious and reminded him of his mother. The president added that the queen asked him about world leaders, including Putin and China's Xi Jinping.
Queen Elizabeth also asked what life in the White House was like. Biden said that he remembered telling the queen that they could fit the White House in the courtyard. He then extended his invitation for the queen to visit the White House.
Joe Biden's visit with the queen seemed to have proceeded smoothly. The June 13 meeting of Biden and Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle happened following Biden's departure from the G7 summit in Cornwall, England.
The summit provided world leaders points to work on together on several issues, such as the pandemic, climate change, and the rising influence of China.
WATCH: Presumptive President-elect Joe Biden Releases Statement About Phone Call With Pope Francis - From EWTN
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!