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Biden to meet with Pope Francis to discuss COVID-19, climate

By ALEXANDRA JAFFE  -  The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ??" President Joe Biden is set to meet Pope Francis when he visits the Vatican later this month as part of a five-day swing through Italy and the U.K. for global economic and climate change meetings.

Biden plans to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the climate crisis and poverty during his meeting with the pope, according to the White House. The meeting will take place on Oct. 29, and Biden will then attend two-day summit of G-20 leaders in Rome, before heading to Glasgow, Scotland for the U.N. climate conference known as COP26.

Biden, who is Roman Catholic, often speaks of his faith in public and attends Mass every weekend. But his political views, including his support for gay marriage and abortion rights, have at times put him at odds with Catholic doctrine and brought controversy and criticism from some leaders of the Catholic church.

Earlier this year, a number of Catholic Bishops debated denying Biden Communion over his support for abortion rights, but eventually backed away from setting any policy for politicians and the Eucharist.

First lady Jill Biden, will join her husband for his meeting with the pope.

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