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COVID-19 AND CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE AGENDA AS POPE AND JOE BIDEN MEET

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US President Joe Biden will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Friday, where the world’s two most notable Roman Catholics plan to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and poverty.

The president takes pride in his Catholic faith, using it as moral guidepost to shape many of his social and economic policies.

He wears a rosary and frequently attends Mass, yet his support of abortion rights and same-sex marriage has put him at odds with many US bishops, some of whom have suggested he should be denied Communion.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki, in previewing the visit, said she expects a “warm and constructive dialogue” between the two leaders.

“There’s a great deal of agreement and overlap with the president and Pope Francis on a range of issues: poverty, combating the climate crisis, ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

“These are all hugely important, impactful issues that will be the centrepiece of what their discussion is when they meet.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the president and pontiff would meet privately, then hold talks with expanded delegations.

Mr Biden is visiting Rome and then Glasgow, Scotland, for back-to-back summits, first a gathering for leaders of Group of 20 leading and developing nations and then a global climate conference.

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Written by: Gabriel Ciniglio

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