Biden, who had been dealing with multiple crises at his home, decided to leave everything behind and fly abroad to Europe to attend summits in Rome, Italy, and Glasgow, Scotland. He is presumably more popular there than he is at home.
But the strangest thing was that the Pope abruptly canceled a live broadcast of the U.S. president’s meeting without giving any explanation.
The Washington Post reported about the strange occurrence:
On Thursday, the Vatican abruptly cancelled the live broadcast of President Joe Biden speaking to Pope Francis. This is the latest restriction on media coverage of Holy See.
The Vatican Press Office did not explain why the live broadcast of Biden’s visit was cut to only show the president’s arrival in the Apostolic Palace courtyard, where a Vatican monsignor is expected to greet him.
Cancelled was live coverage of Biden greeting Francis in the palace Throne Room. Also, live footage of Biden and Francis sitting down to start their private talks in Francis’ library. At that time, the cameras would normally have stopped running.
The Vatican stated that it would release edited footage after the fact to accredited media.
Did the Pope look at the US president in distress and decide it wasn’t worth taking the chance of going live? Did there exist a personal dispute? No reasons were given.
Biden had met Pope Francis three times before, but this would mark his first visit as president. Biden is also the second Catholic president, though one wouldn’t necessarily guess that from his progressive views regarding abortion and gay marriage.
Biden will travel to the G20 meetings abroad with leaders from Argentina, Australia, Canada and France. He will also be joined by the leaders of South Korea, South Africa. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the European Union, Turkey, and Canada.
To address issues back home, several G20 leaders will not attend the summit, including Fumio Kishida (Japan’s new prime Minister), Vladimir Putin (Russia), and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Mexico). All of them have said that they will not be attending, but they could attend sessions. Other leaders who are not expected to attend include the Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
With a host of serious issues at home, the president has a lot on his plate. It’s clear that the Biden White House is struggling to handle live broadcasts with Pope Francis.