Conflicting Reports On Biden Meeting With Pope

Catholic News Services reports:

President Joe Biden’s attendance at early morning Mass with Pope Francis was nixed from an early plan for the first meeting of both leaders, a reliable Vatican source told CNA.

President Biden is currently in Europe for several high level meetings, offering a potential opportunity to meet with Pope Francis. According to Vatican sources June 15, there is no meeting currently scheduled between the two men.

The President’s entourage had originally requested for Biden to attend Mass with the pope early in the morning, but the proposal was nixed by the Vatican after considering the impact that Biden receiving Holy Communion from the pope would have on the discussions the USCCB is planning to have during their meeting starting Wednesday, June 16.

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UPDATE: A conflicting report from the National Catholic Reporter:

To hear the EWTN-ownedCatholic News Agency tell it, Biden was to make a quick stopover in Rome to meet with Francis on the way from Brussels to Geneva. A few immediate problems with that story: Rome is not on the way to Geneva (it is about 550 miles further south). And there is no evidence to show that such a meeting was ever on the agenda.

CNA originally reported on the possibility of a Biden-Francis meeting on June 3, citing unnamed Vatican sources. The outlet doubled down on the story June 14, reporting in a piece without a named author that the meeting would be happening on June 15, but Francis had nixed plans to celebrate Mass with Biden, a Catholic.