What will President Biden and Pope Francis talk about?

by Msnbctv news staff

(RNS) — When Pope Francis meets with President Joe Biden in Rome on Friday (Oct. 29), this won’t be a pastoral assembly between the pope and one of many Catholic trustworthy. This can be a assembly between Biden because the president of america and the pope, who’s an influential world chief. 

One factor they won’t be speaking about is whether or not Catholic pro-choice Biden can go to Communion. That may be a dialog Biden would have together with his native bishop, Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington. Francis has already indicated he has not denied Communion to anybody. 

When presidents meet popes, they speak about world occasions, not their private religion. Each president since Dwight Eisenhower has met with a pope, some a number of instances. And, whereas presidents meet with popes, White Home and State Division officers meet with their Vatican counterparts.

The primary subject of Friday’s go to would be the upcoming local weather assembly in Glasgow, Scotland. Different subjects may embrace COVID-19, the refugee disaster, the anarchy in Haiti, the civil battle in Lebanon, the issues of the Center East and no matter world crises are on the entrance pages this week.

As a result of battle sells newspapers and will get web views, reporters will play up any signal of battle on the assembly, however nobody within the White Home or the Vatican is on the lookout for a battle. After centuries of diplomatic encounters, the Vatican understands the significance of specializing in areas the place it may possibly work with governments to enhance the frequent good.

RELATED: Catholic bishops cut up on take care of Biden

Missing army and financial energy, the Vatican avoids confrontation. Even with governments like China the place it has critical issues, the technique is to work for incremental enhancements moderately than threat a public brawl. Though armchair commentators urge popes to denounce violations of non secular freedom, the Vatican is aware of that after the headlines fade, it would nonetheless must take care of the nation it has antagonized.

The White Home sees within the pope an ally on the world stage, though the pope might be nearer to Bernie Sanders than Biden on financial points. I’m certain some within the White Home would like to ask the pope to foyer Sen. Joe Manchin, a Catholic, on local weather change, however that’s not going to occur. Popes don’t foyer legislators. Sadly, the U.S. bishops are largely silent on world warming.

Nobody else might be within the room when the president and the pope meet, besides maybe a translator. Afterward, the Vatican media workplace will concern a brief press launch itemizing a few of the subjects mentioned. The press launch might be moderately opaque as a result of it doesn’t point out areas of settlement or disagreement. Nor does it point out how a lot time was spent on every subject.

At one assembly within the Vatican with a Democratic secretary of state, more often than not was spent discussing the Center East, however as folks had been getting as much as go away, a Vatican official mentioned to the American delegation, “After all, we should say one thing about abortion within the press launch.” One sentence on abortion within the press launch grew to become the main focus of media consideration regardless that it solely consumed a few minutes within the assembly.

RELATED: Pope Francis offers President Trump some homework at their first assembly

What can’t be hidden, nevertheless, is the picture op after the assembly of the president and the pope. Pius XII by no means smiled in such images with world leaders. Later popes weren’t so disciplined. Francis doesn’t cover his emotions. If you wish to know the way the assembly went, evaluate the images of Francis with Biden after the assembly with these of Francis and Donald Trump after their assembly. An image is value a thousand phrases.

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