Pope Francis And President Biden May Meet On June 15
By Andrea Gagliarducci
According to sources from the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the first meeting between Pope Francis and President Joe Biden might take place on June 15.
President Biden might travel to Rome for a meeting with Pope Francis before immediately flying to Geneva for his scheduled summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16, according to the source. Although the meeting has not been confirmed, another source from the Vatican Secretary of State said that the meeting “is likely to occur.”
President Biden is currently scheduled to be in Europe for the NATO summit, which will take place in Brussels on June 14. According to a June 3 White House statement, he is scheduled to participate in the U.S.-EU summit on June 15, and will meet with leaders of Belgium.
Several days after Biden’s election to the presidency, Biden and Pope Francis had a phone conversation. The circumstances of the call were unique, as popes generally do not communicate directly with the president-elect but rather send official greetings once new presidents are installed.
If confirmed, the visit – technically speaking, a papal audience with Biden – will occur while Biden has yet to appoint a new ambassador to the Holy See.
President Biden is scheduled to travel to Europe in June to participate in several international summits in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Switzerland.
He will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on June 10 before attending the G7 summit and meeting leaders of major industrialized nations. He and his wife are scheduled to meet with Queen Elizabeth II on June 13.
On June 14, Biden is scheduled to participate in the NATO summit in Brussels, and meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Later in the week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will gather virtually for their spring plenary session from June 16-18; at the meeting, the bishops are expected to deliberate and vote on the process of drafting a document regarding Eucharistic coherence.
A proposed outline for the document includes a section on “Eucharistic consistency,” described as, “The nature of eucharistic communion and the problem of serious sin.”
The topic of Communion for Catholic politicians who support permissive laws on evils such as abortion and euthanasia has grown more salient since Biden’s election to the presidency; he is only the second Catholic U.S. president, and supports taxpayer-funded abortion.
Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago and other bishops recently sought to delay the discussion on Eucharistic coherence, but the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, has said the discussion will proceed as planned.