US President and Pope discuss climate change and COVID-19 vaccines – MercoPress
US President and Pope discuss climate change and COVID-19 vaccines
US President Joseph Biden met Pope Francis in Vatican City on Friday in a meeting where climate change and COVID-19 vaccines were high on the agenda alongside the issue of abortion was cautiously overlooked by the head of the Catholic Church and one of its most prominent adherents.
Among those accompanying the Bidens were Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who has had many key meetings with South American officials over the past few days.
Friday marked the second time that an American Catholic president had met a pontiff, after President John F. Kennedy. Pope Francis called Biden a “good Catholic” and said he should continue to receive Communion, despite claims he should not do so given his approach to abortion. The president said he personally opposes abortion but will not impose his point of view on others.
The Vatican, which did not allow public access to the meeting, citing coronavirus concerns, later said in a statement that Francis and Biden had focused “on the common commitment to protect and protect them. care of the planet, the health care situation and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the theme of refugees and assistance to migrants.
Across the table, the White House said in a statement that “President Biden thanked His Holiness for his advocacy on behalf of the world’s poor and those who suffer from hunger, conflict and persecution. . Biden gave Francis a challenge coin with the seal of the United States on one side and the Delaware National Guard unit badge of President Beau Biden’s late son on the other. The president told the pontiff that such coins are given to “warriors and rulers”.
“We just talked about how happy he was that I was a good Catholic and continued to receive Communion,” Biden said.
After Biden didn’t stop at the Vatican, he continued to meet with other world leaders as he will at the G20 summit and then the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Biden met Italian President Sergio Mattarella, at the Italian Presidential Palace, and later Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Biden ended the day by meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, with whom he discussed a controversial nuclear submarine deal involving the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, which angered France. The deal led Australia to cancel an agreement to buy non-nuclear submarines from France.