The Vatican will no longer hold a live broadcast of President Joe Biden’s meeting with Pope Francis on Friday, the Holy See announced Thursday.
Biden will meet with the Holy Father on Friday as part of his overseas trip to Rome and Glasgow, Scotland, for a series of international summits. The Vatican had planned to provide a live broadcast of the event, but will now only provide edited footage of the meeting after the fact, according to the Associated Press.
Biden has previously met with Pope Francis three times, but Friday will be his first meeting as president. (RELATED: White House Denies Report That Vatican Canceled A Meeting Between Biden And Pope Francis)
Tension has recently grown between Biden, who calls himself a devout Catholic, and the American Catholic community. Biden publicly rejects the Church’s teachings on both abortion and gay marriage. He also supports passing a version of his multi-trillion-dollar budget plan without the Hyde Amendment, which for decades has prevented taxpayer dollars from funding abortions.
The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) expressed its disappointment with the lack of press access to Biden’s meeting with the Holy Father on Thursday, saying the world should see the event take place.
The @whca joins Vatican reporters in expressing our disappointment that the world won’t see live pictures of President Biden’s meeting with Pope Francis. https://t.co/zEcbkOvxkO
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) October 28, 2021
“Reporters have been covering the papal audiences of American presidents since Woodrow Wilson sat w/Benedict I in January 1919. Most recently, members of our WH press corps helped bring the world pictures of Francis’s mtgs with Obama & Trump,” WHCA president Steven Portnor said on Twitter. “Our fully-vaccinated & masked pool of reporters is ready to continue this public service, mindful of its own safety as well as the leaders’, to ensure independent coverage of the first Catholic president in 60 yrs meeting with the head of the Catholic church.”