Vatican Told Biden He Was Unwelcome for Pope Benedict’s Funeral

( – The Vatican snubbed President Joe Biden as he was asked not to go to the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

The former head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, whose papacy ran from 2005 until 2013 before he retired in a move that had not occurred in centuries, passed away on December 31, 2022, at 95.

Benedict XVI’s funeral was in the Vatican on Thursday, January 5, 2023, and was served by the current Catholic Church head, Pope Francis.

Before that, however, the Vatican had asked the US government that President Joe Biden abstain from attending the funeral, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre revealed to reporters.

In her words, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had made the request before he passed away.

Instead of President Joe Biden, the United States was represented at the funeral by the US Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly.

“[That 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,” Jean-Pierre stated.

Biden later told reporters that the Vatican snubbed him for Benedict XVI’s funeral because he would have traveled there with a giant entourage.

“Well, why do you think? You tell me,” the president responded on the South Lawn, as cited by Newsmax, when asked why an ambassador and not him would go to the Pope Emeritus’s funeral.

“The reason why I’m not attending the funeral tomorrow is because it takes an entourage of 1,000 people, not literally, but we would move everything in the wrong direction,” Biden elaborated.

The Democrat president, the second Catholic to occupy the White House after John F. Kennedy, has been criticized by Catholic Church prelates for his support for abortions.

After Benedict XVI’s passing, Biden praised the former Pope he visited at the Vatican in 2011 as the US vice president.

“He will be remembered as a renowned theologian, with a lifetime of devotion to the church, guided by his principles and faith,” Biden said.

“As he remarked during his 2008 visit to the White House, ‘The need for global solidarity is as urgent as ever, if all people are to live in a way worthy of their dignity.’ May his focus on the ministry of charity continue to be an inspiration to us all,” the president added.

Benedict XVI had requested that his funeral be kept low-key. The only nations invited to send official delegations were Italy and the late former Pope’s native Germany. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Italian President Sergio Mattarella led their delegations.

However, other heads of state and government also attended the funeral in their “private capacity.”

They included seven heads of state, four prime ministers, and two delegations of royal representatives. Among them were the state leaders of the African nations of Togo and Gabon and royal family members from Spain and Belgium.