On October 29, 2021, Pope Francis and U.S. President Joe Biden had a private talk at the Vatican for an unusually long 75 minutes. It was the 31st time a U.S. president and the pope met, starting in 1919 with Woodrow Wilson and Pope Benedict XV. It was apparently a deeper discussion than was expected. Biden is a Catholic and only the second Catholic U.S. president besides John F. Kennedy. Biden had decided to visit Pope Francis while on his trip to the G20 summit of world leaders, held in Rome this year. The G20 is composed of most of the world’s largest economies (19 countries and the European Union) and it is where major issues related to the global economy are discussed. Biden was also on a trip to Glasgow for the COP26 climate change conference which Pope Francis had also hoped to attend. But after his surgery, Francis’ decided not to go. Instead Francis put out a message emphasizing the great political responsibility of governments to make serious commitments at the COP26 conference in order to combat climate change and save humanity from climate-provoked disasters. Pope Francis and President Biden visited in the Papal library, sitting across the table from each other. The table had a crucifix, a clock, a note pad, and a bell. That bell is what the Pope rings to signal the end of the private audience. When that happens, then the President’s delegation is invited into the room to be introduced to the Pope. This U.S. delegation included Biden’s wife Jill and 10 other people including the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Patrick Connell filling in for the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, since one was not yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. A White House official told reporters that the “engagement between the two was very warm when the delegation arrived in the room. There was laughter and clear rapport between President Biden and Pope Francis.” There were gifts exchanged and then Biden met for an hour with Cardinal Pietro – the Vatican Secretary of State. After the meetings and without revealing what was discussed between the President and Pope, the Vatican released a statement that said: During the course of the cordial discussions, the Parties focuses on the joint commitment to the protection and care of the planet, the healthcare situation, and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the theme of refugees and assistance to migrants.” The statement also referenced: human rights, freedom of religion and conscience, the current international situation, G20 summit, and on promotion of peace in the world through political negotiation. President Biden later said that the Pope expressed support for Biden’s continuing to receive Communion despite some U.S. bishops suggesting the President should be denied the Eucharist because of his views on abortion and same-sex marriage, which run counter to mainstream Catholic thought.