London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Joe Biden has Pope in stitches with quip in first Rome meeting ‘You have to pay!’

Mr Biden, who is in Rome for the G20 summit, met with Pope Francis for a marathon 90-minute discussion to talk about the Catholic faith and current affairs before handing the Pope a deeply personal gift in honour of Pope Francis’ work and to show Mr Biden’s own committment to Catholicism.

Mr Biden said: “With your permission I would like to give you a coin.”

The President held out the shining gold coin which had the US seal on the front of it.

Mr Biden told the Pope how on the back of the coin was the stamp of Delaware, the home state of the US President. 

It also bore the seal of the 261st unit his son, Beau Biden, served with during his time in the US military.

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The President told Pope Francis the coin was in fact owned by his late son, who tragically died in 2015 from brain cancer, before adding that Beau “would want me to give this to you” as the pair shared a special moment.

Biden explained the coins are given to “warriors and leaders” and called Francis “the most significant warrior for peace I’ve ever met” in a touching tribute.

But in a joking moment Mr Biden said: “Now the tradition is, and I’m only kidding about this…

“If next time I see you, you don’t have it, you have to buy the drinks!”

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But the jokes did not stop there as Biden cracked another in relation to the pair’s age. 

He remarked: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? You’re 65… I’m 60!”

Mr Biden is a devout Catholic who attends Mass almost every week.

He keeps pictures of Pope Francis in the Oval Office alongside frames of his wife and grandchildren and regularly crosses himself before speeches.