Biden Won’t Attend Pope’s Funeral

( President Joe Biden won’t attend Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s burial on Thursday in Vatican City. Instead, an ambassador will speak on behalf of the American government.

The U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Joe Donnelly, will attend the funeral, according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a press conference on Tuesday.

The ceremony will be very different from Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral in September, attended by many foreign leaders, including Biden.

Only two formal national delegations will attend the funeral since the former head of the Catholic Church requested a straightforward service. The late pope’s birthplace, Germany, will send one delegation, and Italy will send the other.

Italian territory encompasses the entirety of the sovereign city-state of Vatican City, and the two nations are close allies.

According to Jean-Pierre, Ambassador Donnelly will, in accordance with the late Pope’s intentions and the Vatican, represent the United States at the funeral of the Pope.

“These were the requests that they made. Their wishes were for this. So that’s what you see coming from the United States,” Jean-Pierre said.

According to Matteo Bruni, a spokesman for the Vatican, the burial will be placed under the sign of simplicity following the wishes of the pope emeritus.

According to Bruni, the occasion would be “a solemn but sober funeral.”

The emeritus pope has made the clear desire that everything is kept straightforward regarding the funeral and other festivities and gestures made during this difficult period.

As a major state event, Elizabeth II’s funeral was attended by world leaders and heads of government from all walks of life, as well as a sizable number of ambassadors, British politicians, religious leaders, and a range of other individuals.

On September 19, at the ceremony at Westminster Abbey, Biden was seated in the 14th row, which is customary but caused some controversy in the United States.