President Joe Biden will meet with Pope Francis later this month for a discussion on how the US and the Vatican can work together on issues ranging from climate change to bettering treatment of the poor, the White House said on Thursday.
A statement from press secretary Jen Psaki indicated that the conversation would cover “efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity, including ending the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling the climate crisis, and caring for the poor”.
Mr Biden is an active member of the Catholic Church and frequently attends Mass upon returning to his home in Wilmington, Dela. He has faced critcism from some conservative members of the church for his stance on abortion rights, which his administration has defended since the president took office in January.
That issue recently charged back into the attention of the media with the implementation of a ban on abortions after six weeks into the pregnancy in Texas as well as an effort by attorneys for the state of Mississippi to overturn Roe V. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case establishing abortion as a protected medical practice.