On Sunday, President Joe Biden shared an emotional account about his relationship with Pope Francis. He choked up as the pontiff described how he was a friend and offered comfort to him when his son died.
He said, pausing for thought, “Pope Francis is now,” and added, “I don’t want to exaggerate, has become a person who’s provided a great comfort for my family after my son died.”
After a day of grand international diplomacy to tackle climate change and snarled supply chains, Biden came close to tears as he talked about meeting Francis in the days after his son’s death.
He said, his voice slowing, “There were an awful lot people who – many who are even in press – went out of their way to express my empathy and sympathy when a real part of me lost,”
“When I lost Beau, my son.
“I…my family will never forget…my extended family, because it was only days since my son died and Pope Francis arrived in the United States.
Continued Biden, “Beau” was asked by the pope before he left the country and spent more that 10 minutes talking to him about Beau in a Philadelphia hangar.
President Joe Biden appeared close to tears when he spoke about his relationship with Pope Francis, and how the pope had comforted Beau’s family after Beau’s death.
Biden addressed a press conference at the end of the G20 summit in Rome. Biden spoke on climate change and his domestic legislative agenda. But things took a personal turn when he was questioned about his meeting with Pope Francis on Friday.
Biden met with the pope for 75 minutes Friday during a private audience at Vatican.
Biden, who is only second Catholic president of the United States, said that he knew who he was.
“He knew where his school was.” He knew who he was. It had such a cathartic effect on his children, my wife and our families that it meant a lot.
After being sworn into office during the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden’s first appearance as president at a major international summit is the G20.
It was a first chance for a leader who has staked their position on his ability to build consensus to shake hands with fellow leaders.
“What we’ve seen again in Rome is what I believe is the power and effectiveness of America showing up, working with our partners and allies to make progress on issues that matter to us all,” he stated, adding that allies want ‘American leadership to get things done.
He claimed that other leaders sought him as he answered a question about his ability to lead amid falling poll numbers at home.
Biden stated that the United States of America was the most important part of this agenda and that they did it.
Biden will visit Scotland on Monday morning to participate in a United Nations climate summit. The heads of state will work together to reduce carbon emissions to the level required to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C.
Despite all the summitry, Biden’s relationship to the pope was a major focus of his trip.
His tribute to Francis was triggered when he was asked about abortion.
On Friday, Biden received a papal audience. This came at a time when President Obama is under tremendous pressure from conservative Catholics. They want him take a stronger stance on abortion or to be barred from receiving Communion.
After their meeting, the president said that the pope had informed him that he was The Vatican did not consider him a ‘good Catholic’, and the two men did no discuss the issue during their 75-minute meeting at the Vatican.
Biden said, “We just spoke about the fact that he was happy I was a Catholic and should continue receiving communion.”
He said that the pope was a man who understood and avoided judgment on Sunday.
He said, “This man has great empathy.”
“He is a man that understands that part his Christianity is reach out and forgive.
“And so I find my relationship with him one where I personally take great comfort in the fact that he is a truly, truly decent man.
The U.S. Conference of Bishops is considering whether to discipline Catholic politicians like Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Biden, who support a woman’s rights to an abortion. This is something Catholics consider a sin. However, they also receive Holy Communion at Mass.
After their meeting, the president stated that the pope told his that he was a good Catholic and that the two men did no discuss abortion during their private meeting
Earlier Biden met with EU reps and leaders from 14 countries on supply chain problems
Jill Biden surprised the Borghese Gallery & Museum with a surprise visit on Sunday afternoon during the G20 summit in Rome
Conservatives also view Francis negatively for his views on climate change, social justice, and the environment.
Biden stated that he didn’t receive communion at Friday’s meeting.
He declined to comment on whether he and Pope Francis had discussed the U.S. Conference of Bishops, stating that it’s a private conversation.
He also revealed that Pope Francis blessed Beau’s rosary beads, which he wears around the wrist.
Biden admitted to the press conference that he did not know that his remarks about presenting the pope a command currency had been captured.
Biden said Sunday, ‘I didn’t realize you all could film what I was doing when I gave the Pope a command coin.’
Biden was seen standing next to the pope and saying, “I’m not sure that this is appropriate. But there’s an American tradition.” The president has what is known as a command currency.
Biden stated that it was intended for leaders and warriors.
Biden stated to the pope that he considered him the most important peace fighter he’d ever met.
Biden arrived in Rome nearly an hour late for the press conference. This was the last item on Biden’s agenda.
He said, “We were playing with elevators,” to excuse his tardiness. ‘Long story anyway, good evening.’
During the 26-minute press conference, he expressed regret at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s absence and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inability to attend the Rome gathering in person. This was after some climate activists called the G20 commitments to climate change inadequate.
Biden stated that the disappointment stemmed from the fact that Russia, and… China, didn’t make any commitments to combat climate change. People should be disappointed by that.
“I found it disappointing.”
He expressed optimism that his two pieces of agenda, which are stuck in Congress due to his own party, would be passed into law.
Biden stated, “I believe we’ll pass my Build Back better plan and I believe that we’ll pass the infrastructure bill.”
“But we’ll find out,” he continued. He continued, “But we’ll see.”
“You know, you all believed it wouldn’t happen from the beginning of the moment that I announced it, but you still seem amazed when it does,’ he said to reporters.
“Well, it could be that you are right. It might not work.
‘But I believe we’ll see by the end of next week at home that it’s passed.’
Peter Alexander, NBC’s Peter Alexander, asked him to give the room a thumbs-up if he had any commitments from Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin – moderates who are blocking the Build Back Better bill.
Biden waved goodbye as he left – but it was not clear if he raised his thumb.
Soon after, Karine Jean-Pierre, deputy press secretary, took over clean-up duties.
“As the President stated during the press conference he is confident that we will get this done and the thumbs-up was simply a visual restatement,’ she stated.
Earlier Biden announced that new U.S. and European Union trade deal would tackle ‘dirty steel’ that produces carbon emissions, outlined action to tackle supply chain problems, and met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an effort to ease strained relations between the NATO allies.
Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister and summit host, declared that the weekend was a success and said that it felt different from previous meetings where leaders struggled to agree.
He said, “Something has changed.”
Despite all their warm words, the G20 leaders failed in their commitment to key climate targets like net zero carbon emissions by 2020.
“We recognize that the effects of climate change at 1.5 degrees Celsius will be much lower than at 2° Celsius. They agreed that 1.5 degrees Celsius must be kept within reach by effective and meaningful actions.
During the day, he hosted a side-event with the European Union (and other countries) to strengthen supply chain connections.
He announced that he would issue a presidential order authorizing the Pentagon for faster release items from its National Defense Stockpile
He said, “Supply chain” is something most people don’t think twice about unless there’s a problem.
‘And during this pandemic, we’ve seen delays and backlogs of goods.’