Vice President Biden will lead the U.S. delegation to the installation of Pope Francis, an administration official confirmed to The Washington Examiner.
The ceremony is expected to take place in Rome on Tuesday. Biden is both the highest-ranking Catholic official in the United States and the first-ever Catholic vice president.
“I am happy to have the chance to personally relay my well wishes, and those of the American people, when I travel to Rome for his Inaugural Mass,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday evening. “The Catholic Church plays an essential role in my life and the lives of more than a billion people in America and around the world, not just in matters of our faith, but in pursuit of peace and human dignity for all faiths.”
For his part, President Obama said the selection of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio “speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans.”