President Biden and Pope Francis joke after exchanging gifts
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Mr Biden, who is in Rome for the G20 summit, met with Pope Francis for a marathon 90-minute discussion to talk about the Catholic faith and current affairs before handing the Pope a deeply personal gift in honour of Pope Francis’ work and to show Mr Biden’s own committment to Catholicism.
Mr Biden said: “With your permission I would like to give you a coin.”
The President held out the shining gold coin which had the US seal on the front of it.
Mr Biden told the Pope how on the back of the coin was the stamp of Delaware, the home state of the US President.
It also bore the seal of the 261st unit his son, Beau Biden, served with during his time in the US military.
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The President told Pope Francis the coin was in fact owned by his late son, who tragically died in 2015 from brain cancer, before adding that Beau “would want me to give this to you” as the pair shared a special moment.
Biden explained the coins are given to “warriors and leaders” and called Francis “the most significant warrior for peace I’ve ever met” in a touching tribute.
But in a joking moment Mr Biden said: “Now the tradition is, and I’m only kidding about this…
“If next time I see you, you don’t have it, you have to buy the drinks!”
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The joke sparked laughter in the 84-year old Pope as the two held one another’s hands smiling.
While Biden quipped again saying he was “the only Irishman you’ve ever met who has never had a drink” as the pair laughed together.
Pope Francis hit back noting how despite Mr Biden’s comments, the President’s entourage had “brought whiskey” as a gift for the Pope.
While Mr Biden laughed acknowledging that was indeed the case before ending their meeting in Rome.
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But the jokes did not stop there as Biden cracked another in relation to the pair’s age.
Mr Biden is a devout Catholic who attends Mass almost every week.
He keeps pictures of Pope Francis in the Oval Office alongside frames of his wife and grandchildren and regularly crosses himself before speeches.
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