Biden and First Lady greet Vatican officials

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The Swiss Guards prepare for the arrival of President Joe Biden for a meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican on October 29. (Andrew Medichini / AP)

Today’s meeting will be the fourth between Biden and the Pope, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday, noting that the two had also exchanged letters.

“They will just have a chance to reflect, each of them, on their vision of what is going on in the world, political questions,” Sullivan said during a White House press briefing.

Biden and the Pope are expected to discuss climate change, migration and income inequality, among others, according to Sullivan.

The last time President Joe Biden visited the Vatican, he was still reeling from the loss of his son Beau to cancer a year earlier.

The reason for his visit in 2016 was the Third International Conference on Regenerative Medicine and, in a speech with a massive bronze sculpture of the resurrection as a backdrop, Biden made a passionate appeal to develop new remedies for the disease. who took away his son. life.

But he also recalled a moment of kindness from his host, Pope Francis, who visited the United States in the months following Beau’s death and reunited with Biden’s extended family as he was leaving the States at the Philadelphia International Airport.

“We had just lost my son,” Biden said at the start of his speech. “And he met my extended family in the hangar behind the plane. And I wish every grieving parent, brother, sister, mother, father could benefit from his words, from his prayers, from his presence. He provided us. more comfort than even he, I think, will understand. “

Biden returns to the Vatican on Friday to meet with a pope who has provided both family comfort and ideological inspiration to a president whose faith has long supported his public and private life.

The visit is expected to address their personal relationships as Catholics and other key global issues, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday. And their discussion of the issues should address climate, migration and income inequality – major areas of consensus between the two men.

Learn more about Biden’s relationship with the Pope here.


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