Biden’s visit – Pope Francis couldn’t have come at a better time

President Joe Biden is a huge fan of Pope Francis, and this is very clear. he is He said That Francis is “the embodiment of the Catholic social doctrine on which I was raised…the idea that every person has a right to dignity.” He traveled to the Vatican for a papal confirmation in 2013, Where he pointed out that The new pope “shares the vision we all share to reach the poor and the underprivileged.” And when Francis addressed Congress in 2015, Biden flowed“I’m really excited that the whole world is starting to see the basic, basic elements of what constitutes Catholicism.”

The goal of the meeting, according to the White House, is to work together on the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and caring for the poor.

Now, for the first time as president, Biden will meet with Francis on Friday. The goal of the meeting, according to the White House, is to work together on the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and caring for the poor. It’s an important opportunity for two leaders with no shortage of pressing humanitarian issues on their page, and an opportunity for Biden in particular to refocus on what drives his administration.

The visit also comes as far-right Catholics increasingly seek to undermine Francis’ legitimacy and persuade conservative Catholic bishops in the United States to reject Biden’s company. These cultural warriors are likely to come out in full force this week trying to score points in their crusade to decriminalize abortion. But these extremists Don’t actually represent him The views of most American Catholics—and most of them not in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade—the President and the Pope are right to focus instead on the critical issues facing humanity.

One of those critical issues is climate change, which Both You have Named An existential threat to humanity. Last month, the Pope released an unprecedented report joint statement With Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, they called for action at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which Biden will attend after his trip to Rome.

Among other avenues, Biden seeks to address The Climate Crisis Through His Agenda Build Back Better. I struggled to get it Momentum for the agendaThis meeting is therefore an opportunity to remind policy makers — including fellow Catholic Biden, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia And people all over the world consider tackling the climate crisis to be the most urgent moral crisis of our time. Among other avenues, Biden is seeking to tackle the climate crisis with his “building back better” agenda. After months of intense negotiations, Biden is currently working with congressional leaders on a compromise bill. This meeting is an opportunity to demonstrate to people around the world that America remains committed to addressing the climate crisis.

At a “Sacred Reconstruction” press conference with faith leaders last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is a Catholic, called specifically on the impact that Biden’s legislation would have on children: Congress should act like Jesus “And make sure that all children have the opportunity they deserve — they are all blessings that contain a spark of divinity,” she said. (The costs of these investments in the public good will be paid for by higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations, which polls show 68 percent of American Catholics support.)

While some of the more robust initial provisions in the Biden American families plan were pared down during the negotiations, Build Back Better . Framework — and eventual legislation — could transform childcare in America by dramatically lowering costs and expanding choices for families, stimulating quality and raising workers’ wages. Unfortunately, several key provisions of the Build Back Better bill, including paid family leave, have already been repealed. With partisan margins in Congress, and some Democrats refusing to play ball, Biden needs all the help he can get — and Francis is a staunch ally.

There are few universal figures with greater moral authority. Francis has 63 percent preference The rating among US adults and an 82 percent rating of preference among American Catholics. Biden’s rapprochement with the Pope could reshape how Americans understand Biden’s motives in the current legislative moment. His agenda does not represent the so-called “liberals and tax spending,” but the urgent need to take care of the most vulnerable.

In addition to the Rebuilding Better agenda specifically, Biden and Francis’ views also align with a number of other areas, including racial justice. Last week, the Pope compared the “black lives matter” protests to a good Samaritan. “This movement did not pass on the other side of the road when it saw the damage done to human dignity by the abuse of power,” he is He said in his speech At the Fourth World Meeting of People’s Movements. Biden made this a priority through executive action and lobbied Congress to pass legislation, including the Freedom of Voting Act and the George Floyd Police Justice Act, that would help shape the country into a more just and equitable society. Both bills, in particular, have stalled in the Senate.

Ending the coronavirus epidemic is another urgent reason for humanity. “Thanks to God’s grace and the work of many, we now have vaccines to protect us from Covid-19,” Francis She said. he is too It is called vaccination An act of love. Likewise, Biden has urged Americans to get vaccinated, demanded that federal employees and contractors vaccinate, and push them to make sure that vaccines are available, appropriate, free, and effective.

Finally, there was an alliance between the Vatican and Washington on ending the American war in Afghanistan. While the withdrawal had a negative impact on the president’s popularity, the primary decision to end the war reflected Biden’s goals of leading with diplomacy rather than military force. It seems clear from the recent comments that Francis agrees with this approach: “In the name of God, I call upon the powerful nations to stop unilateral aggression, siege and sanctions… Disputes must be resolved in multilateral fora such as the United Nations.” He said last week.

“The grave crises facing our human family require united and far-sighted responses,” the Pope said wrote to Biden on the occasion of his inauguration. And that unit will need to be seen like never before on Friday. With so much at stake, Catholics, other Christians, and people of all world religions will be watching closely.

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