Biden meets Pope, as abortion debate flares

U.S. President Joe Biden met Pope Francis for a private meeting at the Vatican on Friday.

The meeting was unusually long, said to last about an hour an 15 minutes. For comparison: when the pope met President Obama back in 2014 it was about 50 minutes, and when he met President Trump four years ago it was only for a half an hour.

"You are the most significant warrior for peace I've ever met."

Biden is only America's second Catholic president, after John F. Kennedy, and the meeting comes as the church clergy in the U.S. are divided over how to handle Biden's position on abortion.

The president, who keeps a picture of Pope Francis in the Oval Office, says he's personally opposed to abortion but cannot impose his views as an elected leader.

Some of Biden's critics in the American church say he should banned from the act of communion, an important ritual in the Catholic faith.

Pope Francis has said the American clergy shouldn't treat communion as a political tool, and that the abortion debate shouldn't detract from other Church problems like immigration and poverty.

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