Joe Biden Lauds Pope Francis As “Fine, Decent, Honourable Man”


Joe Biden Lauds Pope Francis As 'Fine, Decent, Honourable Man'

On Friday, US President Joe Biden met Pope Francis for over an hour at the Vatican. (File)


US President Joe Biden praised Pope Francis on Sunday for his empathy and humanity, calling the pontiff “a fine, decent, honourable man”.

“This is a man who is someone who is looking to establish peace and decency and honour, not just in the Catholic Church but just generically,” Biden said during a press conference at the culmination of the two-day G20 summit in Rome.

Biden, a devout Catholic who regularly attends church, choked up while describing how the pope comforted his family following the 2015 death from cancer of his son, Beau, when Biden was vice president.

During a visit by the pope to the United States later that year, Francis asked if he could meet with Biden’s family, the president recalled.

“And we met in a hangar at the Philadelphia airport and he came in and met with my family for a considerable amount of time… and he talked about my son Beau,” said Biden.

“And he didn’t just generically talk about him, he knew about him… he knew what a man he was,” he said. “It had such a cathartic impact on his children, on my wife and our family. It meant a great deal.”

On Friday ahead of the G20 talks, Biden met Francis for more than an hour at the Vatican, where he presented the pontiff with a presidential coin recalling the regiment in which Beau served.

The pope, Biden said later, had told him he was “happy I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving Communion”.

Biden said on Sunday that the pope was “everything I learned about Catholicism from the time I was a kid going from grade school through high school”.

“I have great respect for people who have other religious views but he’s just a fine, decent, honourable man, and we keep in touch.”

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