The Catholic presidents of several nations plan to attend today’s funeral for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

Biden Will Skip Pope Benedict’s Funeral At The Request Of The Vatican

The Catholic presidents of several nations plan to attend today’s funeral for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (CNA)

The Catholic presidents of several nations plan to attend today’s funeral for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

But President Joe Biden won’t be one of them.

The Vatican signaled that Biden, only America’s second Catholic head of state, was not invited to the farewell for the late 95-year-old former leader of the world’s largest Christian denomination.

Benedict died on New Year’s Eve.

Biden claimed to a reporter on Wednesday that his presence would be too much of a distraction.

When first asked about not going, he coyly responded, “You know why.” When the reporter pressed for an answer, Biden replied that it would take an “entourage of thousands” for him to attend. He added, “We would just get in the way.”

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But White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s explanation seemed to differ somewhat.

She told reporters at the daily briefing on Tuesday that Ambassador to the Vatican Joe Donnelly will represent the U.S. at Benedict’s funeral.

His presence, she added, was in line with the wishes of the late Pope and the Vatican.”

“This is what their requests were. This is what their wishes were.  And so, that’s what you’ll see from the U.S.,” she said.

Benedict was one of the most conservative popes in recent memory, rivaled only by his predecessor, the late St. Pope John Paul II.

Biden, meanwhile, even as he promotes himself as a “devout” Catholic, supports and defends policies that diametrically oppose Catholic doctrine, including gay marriage, abortion, and transgenderism.

Last year, for example, he criticized the overturning of the Supreme court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that relegated abortion policies to the states and enacted the Respect for Marriage Act, which protects gay marriage under federal law.

Right after Biden took office in 2021, his administration sued the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of Catholic nuns, to force them to adopt an Obamacare-compliant health insurance plan that would carry and supply contraceptives, including drugs that induce abortions.

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According to the Catholic News Agency, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni told reporters on Wednesday that Benedict sought a funeral “under the sign of simplicity,” a service that will be “solemn but sober.”

The Vatican invited only two countries to send official delegations, Italy and Germany, Benedict’s homeland.

Yet, CNA reported, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar will attend in an unofficial capacity. Also planning to attend were Queen Sofia of Spain and King Philip, and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

All presumably accompanied by their entourages.

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