Biden to lead farewell ceremony for Pope Francis: White House

 U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a Catholic, will lead a farewell ceremony for Pope Francis in Philadelphia on Sept. 27, marking the end of a historic visit by the popular pontiff, the White House said on Thursday.

Reuters| Updated: Sep 18, 2015, 06:04 AM IST

Detroit: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, a Catholic, will lead a farewell ceremony for Pope Francis in Philadelphia on Sept. 27, marking the end of a historic visit by the popular pontiff, the White House said on Thursday.

Biden will also attend welcoming ceremonies for the pope at the U.S. military base where he arrives on Tuesday and at the White House the following day, in addition to the pope`s address to the U.S. Congress and other events that week.

"I admire Pope Francis deeply and I’m excited about his upcoming visit," Biden said in a statement.

"Pope Francis has become a moral rudder for the world on some of the most important issues of our time, from inequality to climate change. I look forward to seeing him again soon."

Biden is considering whether to compete for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the current frontrunner. His high profile events with the pope could help him appeal to Catholics, an important voting bloc, should he decide to run.