Biden and Pope Francis joke, exchange gifts

The Vatican said the private meeting lasted one hour and 15 minutes and then about another 15 minutes were spent for picture taking and the exchange of gifts in the presence of other members of the delegation, such as Biden's wife, Jill.

The Pope's meeting with former President Donald Trump in 2017 lasted about 30 minutes and one with Barack Obama in 2014 lasted about 50 minutes.

During Biden's meeting, Biden gave the pope a "command coin" sometimes awarded to soldiers and leaders and told him: "You are the most significant warrior for peace I've ever met."

Citing what he said was a tradition linked to the coin, he joked with the pope, saying: "Next time I see you, if you don't have it, you have to buy the drinks (but) I'm the only Irishman you've ever met who's never had a drink..."

The two also met as the as a debate rages in the U.S. about abortion rights, which Biden, who is Catholic supports.

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