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Joe Biden Delivers an Awkward Reason For Not Attending Pope Benedict's Funeral

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read

United States president Joe Biden has given a controversial reason why he missed out on Pope Benedict's Funeral in Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican. As captured on television, a Catholic news network reporter approached the president and asked him why he did not attend the funeral of the dead pope.

Biden's response to the question has generated a lot of controversies as many deemed his response insensitive and awkward for the moment. 

During a rather uncomfortable exchange, the news reporter asked Biden, "You're not attending [Pope Benedict XVI's] funeral tomorrow, though. Why?" 

Joe Biden even responded with a more combative comment, "Well, why do you think?" The reporter asked again: "You tell me." Joe Biden then went on to say his reason for not attending Pope Benedict XVI's funeral, saying that his coming would have disrupted or caused confusion at the funeral. 

According to the United States president, his coming to the Vatican city for the burial of the dead pope would have made him come with thousands of security guards. In his words, that would have destroyed the aim of the burial and would cause unnecessary confusion at the funeral. 

"The reason I'm not attending the funeral tomorrow is it would take an entourage of a thousand people to show up. We would move everything in the wrong direction," Joe Biden. 

After answering the question about not coming to the burial, Joe Biden made more comments concerning the dead pope. He called him a" fine man" and revealed that the pope had given a lot of advice which he valued in 2011. 

However, in the absence of the United States president, a delegation led by the former Indiana senator  Joe Donnelly, who currently serves as US Ambassador to the Holy See, represented the country. The White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday, "The U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, will represent the United States at the pope's funeral in line with the wishes of the late pope and the Vatican. This is what their requests were."

More Details About Pope Benedict XVI's Funeral 

Pope Francis at the Funeral of Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City

Pope Benedict XVI passed away on December 31, 2022, at the age of 95 and thus generated a lot of mourning within the Catholic faith and worldwide. 

He was pope from 2005 to 2013 after he stepped down from the position due to his failing health. After stepping down from the position, he became the first pope that stepped down from the post since 1415. 

During the Pope Benedict Funeral, Pope Francis was the one who gave the homily to the late Pope Benedict XVI at his funeral in St Peter's Square, Vatican City. According to the information given by Vatican City, more than 50,000 people are coming from different parts of the world. 

Soon after the funeral procession of a late Christian figure, he was buried in a crypt beneath St Peter's Basilica that holds the tombs of more than ninety of his predecessors. After his funeral, Pope Benedict XVI will be remembered for some of the most controversial things when he was still the pope. 

Apart from being criticized for how he ran his administration as a pope, he also admitted that he made some mistakes in handling some issues, especially regarding sexual crimes within the church.