After the Vatican abruptly canceled the planned live broadcast of President Joe Biden and Pope Francis' meeting, the duo's 'unusually long meeting' on Friday, October 29, became a topic of discussion on Social Media. The meeting, which lasted for 90 minutes, comes ahead of the first in-person G20 summit since the pandemic on Saturday, October 30.
A video of the meeting showed President Biden gifting a coin to the Pope as he cracked some jokes. The coin bore a deep personal significance to President Biden as it had a seal of the 261st Signal Brigade, the Delaware National Guard unit in which his late son Beau served as a captain.
"I know my son would want me to give it to you," Biden told the Pope. After Beau Biden's death in 2015, the Pope privately counseled a grieving Biden family. Biden noted that the coins are given to "warriors and leaders" before calling Francis "the most significant warrior for peace I've ever met." CNN reports that other gifts presented to the Pope included an embroidered vestment used by the Society of Jesus in the US.
President Biden cracked a joke
"The tradition is, and I'm only kidding about this, next time I see you [and] you don't have it, you have to buy the drinks," President Biden joked, referring to the coin. "Irish people love whisky," the Pope quipped in response. "I'm the only Irishman you've ever met who's never had a drink," Biden added, before cracking a joke on age with Francis. Narrating a story about Black baseball player Satchel Paige, Biden asked, "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?" referring to Paige's attitude about aging. "You're 65," he added. "I'm 60. God love you."
Twitterati raise an eyebrow over President Biden and Pope Francis' unusually long meeting
Social media sleuths termed the 90 minutes duration of President Biden and Pope Francis' meeting "unusually long" and dissed the POTUS as "death penalty debate flares at home when Catholic Republican Supreme Court Justices condemn a man to death in violation of the church's teachings".
Another Twitter user compared the duration of Biden's meeting with the Pope to that of previous American presidents and added that "one hour and 15 minutes is a long time for the Pope to spend with any world leader." "For the first time since 2016, the Pope didn't try to exorcize the visiting President of the United States," another person tweeted.