The White House press secretary has confirmed that President Joe Biden will not be attending the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Thursday.
In response to a question from journalist Owen Jensen with EWTN News on Jan. 3, Karine Jean-Pierre said that “the U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, will represent the United States at the funeral of the pope in line with the wishes of the late pope and the Vatican. This is what their requests were.”
Oddly enough, at yesterday’s White House press briefing, Karine Jean-Pierre said that Biden would not be going to Pope Benedict’s funeral — in accordance with the Vatican’s wishes:
Joe Biden will not attend Pope Benedict XVI's funeral, per request of the Vatican. pic.twitter.com/Q7VcYEhnei
— Kevin McMahon (@Kevin__McMahon) January 3, 2023
The Vatican’s press office has confirmed that only two official state delegations — from Italy and Germany — were invited to the funeral of the late pope emeritus, which will be held on Jan. 5.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar are among those who have already confirmed their attendance at Benedict XVI’s funeral in an unofficial capacity.
European royals Queen Sofia of Spain and King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium are also planning to attend.
Biden himself was “surprised” by a reporter who decided to ask him why he was not attending the funeral.
This has to be one of the strangest exchanges I’ve ever seen with Joe Biden.
Reporter: You’re not attending [Pope Benedict XVI’s] funeral tomorrow, though. Why?
Biden: Well why do you think?
Reporter: You tell me.
Biden: You know why.
Wonder why Pope Benedict and the Vatican requested that he send the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See instead of Joe Biden.
Natalie Dagenhardt is an American conservative writer who writes for Right Journalism! Natalie has described herself as a polemicist who likes to “stir up the pot,” and does not “pretend to be impartial or balanced, as broadcasters do,” drawing criticism from the left, and sometimes from the right. As a passionate journalist, she works relentlessly to uncover the corruption happening in Washington. She is a “constitutional conservative”.