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Biden to visit Vatican City, Italy, UK at end of October

US president to meet Pope Francis before participating in summits in Italy, Scotland

Michael Hernandez   | 14.10.2021
Biden to visit Vatican City, Italy, UK at end of October FILE PHOTO


US President Joe Biden will travel to Italy, Vatican City and the UK beginning at the end of October, the White House announced Thursday.

Biden, who is Catholic, will meet Pope Francis in Vatican City on Oct. 29 and 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 spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

Biden's meeting with Francis comes amid a row with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops regarding a "teaching document" that is set to rebuke pro-choice Catholic politicians like Biden.

Biden is only the second Catholic president in US history, and the Vatican has urged bishops to refrain from taking a divisive approach to the matter and warned them to refrain from denying him communion.

After meeting with Francis, the president will travel to Rome for the G20 leaders' summit from Oct. 30-31. The White House did not specify who Biden would meet but said "additional information" would be made available at a later date.

After the summit, Biden will fly to Glasgow, Scotland to participate in the Nov. 1-2 World Leader Summit at the start of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26).

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