On Friday, October 29, a historic meeting between Pope Francis and US President Joe Biden will happen at the Vatican. Biden will be stopping by the Vatican before he proceeds to his international summits. The two leaders’ meeting will “carry deep political, religious, and symbolic significance”, according to the Washington Post, especially since Joe Biden is only the second Catholic president of the United States.
But apart from it, the meeting will also enable them to reunite, given that the two have a special bond. Religion aside, there are other things that connect the 78-year-old president and the 84-year-old pope. (Read: Pope Calls Joe Biden to Discuss Immigration, Climate Change)
Here’s why Pope Francis and Joe Biden have a special connection. Read on.
The pope condoled the Biden family
In 2015, Biden’s son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, passed away after a long bout with brain cancer. A few months after, Pope Francis visited the US. According to Biden, who was the vice president then, the pontiff met them before leaving. Pope Francis spoke to Biden’s immediate and extended family, and “spoke in detail about Beau, about who he was and about family values and about forgiveness and decency.”
“The pope’s been incredibly generous to our family,” Biden said. “I am a great admirer of His Holiness. I really am.”
They have teamed up against cancer
In 2016, the two met at the Vatican where the then-vice president called on the world to commit to funding cancer research after he lost his son the year before. “Cancer’s not a national problem, it’s an international problem. It’s a human problem. It affects all races, all religions,” Biden said. After the vice president spoke, Pope Francis took to the stage to agree with him. “Research, whether in academia and industry, requires unwavering attention to moral issues if it is to be an instrument which safeguards human life and the dignity of the person,” the pope said.
After their speeches, the two were also seen chatting and laughing together with other attendees. (Read: Early Cancer Detection, Treatment May Become Possible Thanks To This Pinoy Elon Musk)
A photo of the two is displayed in the Oval Office
The Oval Office houses all of the US president’s paper work and some personal stuff here and there. And as for Joe Biden, one of the personal items he has in his formal working space is a photo of him and Pope Francis displayed alongside photos of his family. The pontiff has visited the US a number of times, and had been to the White House in 2015 when Barack Obama was president.