Biden meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican

ROME — President Joe Biden met Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday to kick off a five-day European trip.

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Here are the latest updates:

Update 8:48 a.m. EDT Oct. 29: The White House has released the following readout following Biden’s private meeting with Pope Francis:

“In his audience with Pope Francis today, President Biden thanked His Holiness for his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution. He lauded Pope Francis’ leadership in fighting the climate crisis, as well as his advocacy to ensure the pandemic ends for everyone through vaccine sharing and an equitable global economic recovery.”

The Vatican did not provide a live broadcast of the event but instead released details and edited footage afterward.

During the 75-minute meeting, the Vatican said Biden gave the pope “a woven chasuble, or liturgical vestment, made in 1930 by the famed papal tailor Gamarelli and used by the pope’s Jesuit order in the U.S.,” according to The Associated Press. The White House also pledged to make a charitable donation in Francis’ name.

CNN reported that Biden gave Francis a military coin, as well.

“You are the most significant warrior for peace I’ve ever met,” Biden told the pope in a video released by the Vatican. “And with your permission, I’d like to be able to give you a coin. It has the U.S. seal on the front. What is different with this coin ... I know my son [Beau] would want me to give it to you.”

Biden then quipped: “The tradition is – and I’m only kidding about this – next time I see you [and] you don’t have it, you have to buy the drinks.”

The pope, meanwhile, presented Biden with “a ceramic tile depicting the iconography of the pilgrim, as well as a collection of the pope’s main teaching documents,” the AP reported.

Update 8:25 a.m. EDT Oct. 29: Biden and Pope Francis met for about 75 minutes, The Associated Press is reporting. No further details were immediately available, but the Vatican plans to release footage after the meeting.

Update 6:02 a.m. EDT Oct. 29: Biden has arrived at the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis.

The Vatican is not providing a live broadcast of the event and will instead release footage after the meeting, according to The Associated Press.

Original report: President Joe Biden is slated to meet with Pope Francis on Friday at the Vatican before speaking with Group of 20 leaders this weekend in Rome.

According to The Associated Press, Biden, the nation’s second Catholic president, previously met with the pontiff three times when he was vice president; however, Friday’s meeting will be their first in-person visit since Biden’s inauguration.

The White House said the pair, who will meet privately before holding expanded talks, plan to discuss poverty, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, the AP reported.

“These are all hugely important, impactful issues that will be the centerpiece of what their discussion is when they meet,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

The papal visit comes as Biden faces criticism from many Catholic bishops and conservative groups because he supports abortion rights and same-sex marriage, according to the AP. Next month, U.S. bishops are slated to gather in Baltimore for a convention, where they will discuss an effort aimed at barring Biden and other political leaders who support such issues from receiving Communion, the news agency reported.

Despite initially planning robust coverage of Friday’s meeting, the Vatican on Thursday said it would not be broadcasting the event live and denied access to the press, according to the AP. Officials said they instead would release an edited video to the press following the meeting and attributed the change in plans to coronavirus protocols.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.