Pope and Blinken reflect on world issues in Vatican

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis expressed “affection” for the American people during his long meeting Monday with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Blinken refused to delve into “home politics” when asked later if the two discussed a campaign by the American bishops to deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians, like President Joe Biden, who back the abortion rights.

The Vatican said the two spoke for about 40 minutes.

The closed-door meeting at the Apostolic Palace “took place in a cordial atmosphere,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said. The meeting “was an opportunity for the Pope to recall his 2015 visit and to express his affection and attention to the people of the United States of America.”

Bruni was referring to the pontiff’s American pilgrimage, which included a meeting at the White House with then-president Barack Obama. In recent years, the hierarchy of the American church has become increasingly polarized on American politics and politicians.

Many more conservative American bishops are calling for a clear directive from their ranks against giving Communion to American politicians who are Roman Catholics and support women’s right to abortion. Vatican teaching forbids abortion as a serious sin. This campaign puts pressure on Biden, a Catholic who has said that although he personally opposes abortion, he supports the right to abortion.

Earlier this month, American clergymen decided to go ahead and write a document on fellowship. Only a month earlier, Francis’ senior official on doctrinal orthodoxy had urged bishops to think carefully about the issue and seek to minimize divisions.

Blinken declined to address the issue when asked at a press conference in Rome after his visit to the Vatican whether he and Francis had discussed the controversial issue.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to watch » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8imT9rLHxGs]

“One of the luxuries of my job is that I don’t do domestic politics,” said Blinken, who described his talks with the Pope as “extremely warm and very varied”.

Francis himself has not publicly weighed in on the latest quarrel in the long feud over the issue of communion within the United States Bishops’ Conference.

“I was very pleased with the meeting and also with His Holiness’ strong leadership on the pandemic, on climate change” as well as on “the challenge we face on irregular migration and refugees,” said Blinken.

He said that speaking more broadly, “perhaps most important of all, his leadership on the basic proposition that we must stand up for human dignity in all that we do to the best of our ability.”

Blinken spokesman Ned Price said the secretary assured the pontiff of the United States’ commitment to work closely with the Holy See to address global challenges and the needs of the less fortunate and the less fortunate. most vulnerable people in the world, including refugees and migrants.

This would generally correspond to Francis’ general agenda of putting those on the fringes of life at the center of attention.

Blinken also thanked Francis for his “long-standing leadership” on the need to tackle climate change. At the start of his pontificate, Francis published an encyclical, or formal teaching document, emphasizing the need to cherish and protect the environment.

Last year, when Blinken’s predecessor Mike Pompeo came to the Vatican, he had no private time with Francis. At the time, Vatican officials explained that the Holy See did not want to give any impression of favoritism a few weeks before the US presidential election.

Pompeo had lambasted the Vatican for what he said was a decrease in its moral authority by signing an agreement with Beijing on the appointments of Chinese bishops. Pompeo had insisted that the Holy See take a stronger stance against China’s restrictions on religious freedom.

Biden, for his part, criticized China for its forced labor practices. A spokesperson for Blinken said China was among the topics discussed by Francis and the US secretary.

Human rights and religious freedom in China were also discussed during Blinken’s separate talks with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, his foreign minister.

Blinken had meetings with Italian officials ahead of his scheduled evening flight to southern Italy for today’s Group of 20 meeting of foreign ministers.

Information for this article was provided by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press.

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Secretary of State Antony Blinken as they meet in the Vatican on Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a week-long trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy. (Vatican Media via AP Photo)

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Secretary of State Antony Blinken as they meet in the Vatican on Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a week-long trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy.  (Vatican Media via AP Photo)

Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Secretary of State Antony Blinken as they meet in the Vatican on Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a week-long trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy. (Vatican Media via AP Photo)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, accompanied by guide Alessandro Conforti, right, and U.S. Embassy Chargé d'Affaires to the Holy See Patrick Connell, center, visit the Sala Regia in Vatican in Rome, Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy.  (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, accompanied by guide Alessandro Conforti, right, and U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires to the Holy See Patrick Connell, center, visit the Sala Regia in Vatican in Rome, Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a week-long trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, accompanied by U.S. Embassy charge d'affaires to the Holy See Patrick Connell, left, visits the Sala Regia at the Vatican in Rome on Monday June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe traveling to Germany, France and Italy.  (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, accompanied by U.S. Embassy charge d’affaires to the Holy See Patrick Connell, left, visits the Sala Regia at the Vatican in Rome on Monday June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe traveling to Germany, France and Italy. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, accompanied by U.S. Embassy charge d'affaires to the Holy See Patrick Connell, left, visits the Sala Regia at the Vatican in Rome on Monday June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe traveling to Germany, France and Italy.  (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, accompanied by U.S. Embassy charge d’affaires to the Holy See Patrick Connell, left, visits the Sala Regia at the Vatican in Rome on Monday June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe traveling to Germany, France and Italy. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, accompanied by guide Alessandro Conforti, right, and Chargé d'Affaires of the United States Embassy to the Holy See Patrick Connell, second from left, visits the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome, Monday June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy.  (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, accompanied by guide Alessandro Conforti, right, and Chargé d’Affaires of the United States Embassy to the Holy See Patrick Connell, second from left, visits the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome, Monday June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Pope Francis shakes hands with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their meeting in the Vatican on Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a week-long trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy.  (Vatican Media via AP Photo)

Pope Francis shakes hands with Secretary of State Antony Blinken during their meeting in the Vatican on Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a week-long trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy. (Vatican Media via AP Photo)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, accompanied by guide Alessandro Conforti, right, and U.S. Embassy charge d'affaires to the Holy See Patrick Connell, left, tour the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome, Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy.  (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, accompanied by guide Alessandro Conforti, right, and U.S. Embassy charge d’affaires to the Holy See Patrick Connell, left, tour the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome, Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a weeklong trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Pope Francis and Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet at the Vatican on Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a week-long trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy.  (Vatican Media via AP Photo)

Pope Francis and Secretary of State Antony Blinken meet at the Vatican on Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken is on a week-long trip to Europe in Germany, France and Italy. (Vatican Media via AP Photo)


Source link

Comments are closed.