Biden: Pope Didn't Talk About Abortion And Says I Can Have Communion

On his visit to the Vatican, Biden said Pope Francis did not mention the abortion issue but did give him the go-ahead to receive his communion during the barely 90-minute meeting, which reporters were denied access to. 

The president later told reporters that he did not discuss abortion with the pontiff. 

"We just talked about the fact that he was happy I'm a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion," Biden said."

Biden, who turns 79 next month, and Pope Francis, 84, chatted without masks even though Biden often urges their use to curb Covid contagions. 

Little else is known about what the two leaders actually discussed, after the Vatican decided Thursday, without warning, to deny media access, something the pope's press office has made us accustomed to.

It is uncertain whether the White House had anything to do with this decision. 

Prior to the meeting, the Vatican released two short propaganda reels, showing the two leaders smiling and exchanging messages of affection. 

Biden who is the second Catholic president and, as he claims, a regular churchgoer, described his meeting with his holiness at the press conference following his meeting with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. 

Biden said he and the Pope recited a few prayers. "I did, and he said one for me," Biden said. 

The prayer according to Biden was about "peace," adding that the Pope took the opportunity to bless a set of rosary beads for Biden. 

Biden claimed in that the meeting they had discussed issues such as climate change "the moral responsibility to have to deal with this."

This papal assembly is part of Biden's second trip to Europe as President. In Rome, the president is scheduled to meet with several G20 activists and leaders before leaving for Glasgow to attend a conference on climate change. 

Biden was heard on several occasions greeting people and saying "It's good to be back!" after his arrival at the Vatican on Friday. 

"I'm Jill's husband," Biden said at one point during the meeting, managing to draw a smile from the first lady. 

Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, leader of the Pontifical Congregation, led them to the third floor of the palace, where the so-called "Vatican Swiss Guard" escorted them downstairs to the official papal library. 

The meeting with the Pope lasted about 90 minutes, starting around 12 p.m and ending around 1:30 p.m. local time. His Holiness was seen shortly afterward leaving the Vatican in a Fiat and wearing a mask. Biden, on the other hand, left the Vatican at about 2:40 p.m. in the official car after meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin on his way to the Quirinale Palace to meet with the President of the Italian Republic.

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