Two weeks ago, the White House confirmed Pope Francis and President Biden will a day before the G20 Leaders’ Summit on October 29th.

“They 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.”

Now, a day before that meeting, the Vatican cancelled their scheduled live broadcast. Holy See spokesman Matteo Bruni said it was their “normal procedure” established during the pandemic, but didn’t say why the Vatican originally announced complete live coverage of the visit and rolled it back.

Instead, edited footage of their meeting will be provided after the fact. Live footage will only be provided for the arrival of the presidential motorcade.

Media outlets like the Associated Press, the Vatican Correspondents’ association, and the White House Correspondents’ Association formally protested the decision.

“Reporters have been covering the papal audiences of American presidents since Woodrow Wilson sat w/Benedict XV in January 1919. Our fully-vaccinated & masked pool of reporters is ready to continue this public service, mindful of its own safety as well as the leaders’, to ensure independent coverage of the first Catholic president in 60 yrs meeting with the head of the Catholic church.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki also spoke on the decision:

“What I can assure you of is that we are working, through every lever we have, to advocate for access for the press pool and for press when the president visits the Vatican. We believe in the value of the free press. We believe in the value of ensuring you have access to the president’s trip and his visits overseas.”

At a briefing yesterday, Psaki also said that “the pope has spoken differently” than Biden on abortion.

“[Biden, a Catholic] is somebody who stands up for and believes that a woman’s right to choose is important.”

Their meeting is scheduled to start the 29th at noon, lasting for about an hour.


Biden last visited the Vatican in 2016 for a medicine summit, and before that had his first meeting with Pope Francis at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

After his election, Pope Francis called Biden to congratulate him.

Pope Francis also sent Biden a congratulatory inauguration message, which you can read here.

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Comments

3 COMMENTS

  1. Pro Choice President, Catholic and recieves Communion. What a hypocracy. Not sure the Church pracitices what it preaches. So why should we? We might as well join another Faith.

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