Blinken Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican During Trip to Italy

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Blinken Meets Pope Francis at the Vatican During Trip to Italy” – below is their description.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Pope Francis on Monday for closed-door talks inside the Vatican.

Blinken was the first high-level official of President Joe Biden’s administration to have a private audience with the pontiff.

Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said that the meeting in the Apostolic Palace “played out in a cordial atmosphere.”

“It lasted about 40 minutes, and it was for the pope, the occasion to recall his 2015 visit and to express his affection and his attention to the people of the United States of America,” Bruni said.

Bruni was referring to the pontiff’s US pilgrimage, which included a meeting at the White House with then-President Barack Obama.

Since then US church hierarchy has been increasingly more polarized about US politics and politicians.

Conservative U.S. bishops have been clamoring for clear directives against giving Communion to US political figures who are Catholics and support women’s right to abortion.

Vatican teaching forbids abortion as a grave sin.

This campaign has put the spotlight on Biden, a Catholic who has said while he personally opposes abortion he supports abortion rights.

Francis hasn’t weighed in publicly on the latest debate within the heavily polarised US Conference of Bishops, although in 2015 he issued a letter expressing compassion to women over the agonizing choice they face over abortion.

Before the talks, Blinken was given a private tour of the Sistine Chapel and exchanged gifts with Pope Francis.

Blinken also met with the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and the Vatican’s Foreign Minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher.

Blinken was in Vatican City before flying to southern Italy for Tuesday’s Group of 20 meeting of foreign ministers, which is focused on improving collaboration among nations on climate change, health issues and development.

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