Biden Will Not Attend Funeral Of Pope Benedict ‘In Line With The Wishes Of The Vatican’

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden will not be attending the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, per the wishes of the late pope and the Vatican, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.

The U.S. will send Ambassador of the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, “in line with the wishes of the late Pope and the Vatican. This is what their requests were. This is what their wishes were,” Jean-Pierre said.

The funeral will only host world leaders from Italy and Benedict’s home country of Germany due to the private nature of the event, Reuters reported.

Pope Benedict passed away at 95-years-old Saturday. He resigned in 2013 citing health concerns, being the first pope to resign in 600 years. (RELATED: Pope Benedict Leaves Lasting Legacy As Millions Of Catholics Mourn His Loss)

Pope Benedict’s funeral will be held Jan. 5 at 9.30 CET in St. Peter’s Square, and Pope Francis will preside over the funeral, Vatican News reported.

Biden, who is a Catholic, “will always remember the pope’s generosity and meaningful conversation they had when they visited the Vatican in 2011,” Jean-Pierre added, reiterating what the president said in his statement following the pope’s death.

“Jill and I join Catholics around the world, and so many others, in mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI,” Biden’s statement read.

“He will be remembered as a renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the Church, guided by his principles and faith. As he remarked during his 2008 visit to the White House, ‘the need for global solidarity is as urgent as ever, if all people are to live in a way worthy of their dignity.’ May his focus on the ministry of charity continue to be an inspiration to us all,” the statement continued.