White House bars media from Vatican summit while pope urges 'radical' change

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Oct. 29, 2021 (Vatican video screenshot)

Pope Francis urged world leaders on Friday to respond to climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic by fundamentally changing “the way we organize our societies,” but there was little word from the White House on the substance of the pontiff’s 90-minute private meeting with President Biden.

The White House press pool, in fact, excoriated the White House for cutting off access to the meeting after the Vatican cut off a live broadcast of the summit.

Biden offered few details afterward, telling media that Francis told him he should keep receiving communion and they didn’t talk about abortion.

“We just talked about the fact that he was happy I’m a good Catholic,” Biden said. “And I should keep receiving communion.”

Biden also said he gave the pope a “challenge coin” that presidents traditionally give to “warriors and leaders,” telling Francis, “You are the most significant warrior for peace I’ve ever met, and I’d like to be able to give you a coin.”

On Friday, Francis, in an audio message broadcast by the BBC in preparation for the launch of the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow on Sunday, said “climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed our deep vulnerability and raised numerous doubts and concerns about our economic systems and the way we organize our societies.”

He urged world leaders to make “radical decisions that are not always easy” and put plans “rapidly into action, to rethink the future of the world, our common home, and to reassess our common purpose.”

The pope said the “most important lesson we can take from these crises is our need to build together, so that there will no longer be any borders, barriers or political walls for us to hide behind.”

The White House issued a statement later after Biden’s Vatican summit saying the president “thanked His Holiness for his advocacy for the world’s poor and those suffering from hunger, conflict, and persecution.” And Biden praised pope’s leadership “in fighting the climate crisis, as well as his advocacy to ensure the pandemic ends for everyone through vaccine sharing and an equitable global economic recovery.”

Ahead of the meeting, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the two would be “talking about climate and migration and income inequality and other issues that are very top of mind for both of them.”

Immigration has been an important issue to the pope, and U.S. Catholic bishops have called on Biden to terminate Title 42 and the Remain in Mexico policy. Biden suspended Remain in Mexico, but the U.S. Supreme Court recently ordered the Biden administration to reinstate the policy. Homeland Security said it will begin to enforce the policy in November. Title 42, which allows immediate expulsion of migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is still in force.

Joanna Williams, executive director of the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Arizona, on the Mexico border told the independent Catholic publication Crux she hoped Biden would walk out of “that meeting troubled by the moral cost of what he’s chosen to do, and not do, in regards to immigration in his almost year now in the presidency.”

“I think that Pope Francis can invite Biden to take a courageous stance, and frankly a hopeful stance, to say it really is possible to improve conditions for migrants at the border and to respect the right to asylum,” she said.

Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami told Crux he hoped that the pope would mention the recent treatment of Haitians in Del Rio, where approximately 15,000 huddled in a squalid, makeshift camp under the border city’s international bridge.

“That was a travesty,” Wenski said. “Biden has been saying there’s no crisis on the border since he took office and then when 10,000 black Haitians show up suddenly there’s a crisis. I think he could be held to account for that.”

The pope said in his remarks to the climate conference Friday that the pandemic and climate crisis are interconnected, presenting leaders with the need to make “radical decisions that are not always easy.”

He urged leaders to response collectively to the “unprecedented threat of climate change and the degradation of our common home.”

Francis said a scientist told him some time ago that if “things continue as they are, in 50 years’ time my baby granddaughter will have to live in an unliveable world.”

“We cannot allow this to happen,” he said. “It is essential that each of us be committed to this urgent change of direction, sustained by our own faith and spirituality.”

‘Build back better’

In June, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson affirmed the motto of the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset of capitalism,” which has been adopted by the Biden administration, urging leaders of the G7 nations to “build back better” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.

At WEF’s virtual meeting in January featuring its Great Reset initiative, a Fortune 500 CEO affirmed WEF’s assertion that “capitalism as we have known it is dead.”

Last November, WND reported, former Secretary of State John Kerry and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a WEF panel that a Joe Biden presidency would help propel the “Great Reset” plan.

Kerry, saying “we’re at the dawn of an extremely exciting time,” promised that the upcoming Biden administration engage “every sector of the American economy” in achieving “a 2035 goal to achieve net neutrality with respect to power and production.”

Kerry said the U.S. is “ready to come back in and help to lead and raise the ambition in Glasgow to accelerate this incredible capacity for a transformation in the private sector.”

The White House said ahead of the G7 in June that Biden wanted “to discuss ways to forge a more fair, sustainable, and inclusive global economy that meets the unique challenges of our time,” including implementation of a “global minimum tax” on multinational corporations of at least 15%.

‘The final garrison’

Roman Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a former papal ambassador to the United States, warned then-President Trump in October that he was “the final garrison” against the “Great Reset.”

In an open letter to Trump, the archbishop said globalists are creating a “health dictatorship” to combat the virus, threatening the sovereignty of nations and religious freedom.

Cardinal Raymond Burke has called the “Great Reset” an attempt to manipulate “citizens and nations through ignorance and fear” as Marxist materialism takes hold in the United States.

Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis and now a member of the highest judicial authority in the Roman Catholic Church, said in a homily Dec. 12 that the “worldwide spread of Marxist materialism … now seems to seize the governing power over our nation.”

Vigano wrote a letter to Trump in May 2020 warning that the COVID-19 pandemic was being used to usher in a “world government” stripping people of their freedoms. In a letter in June, he encouraged Trump in his fight against the “Deep State.”

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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