Biden to Lead Farewell Ceremony for Pope Francis in Philadelphia | NBC 10 Philadelphia

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Biden to Lead Farewell Ceremony for Pope Francis in Philadelphia



    Vice President Joe Biden discusses the Iran nuclear deal with Jewish community leaders at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Fla. on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Exploring a presidential campaign, Biden offered a robust defense of a nuclear accord with Iran strongly backed by the White House in the latest sign of his work to present himself as a natural heir to President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

    Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will lead the farewell ceremony for Pope Francis in Philadelphia next Sunday, the White House has announced.

    Biden, who is weighing whether to run for president in 2016, will also join President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama in welcoming the pope when he lands at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Tuesday.

    The pope and the president will meet privately before the pontiff's much-anticipated speech to members of Congress Thursday, the White House said.

    "Whatever he says will make people think," said national security spokesman Ben Rhodes. "I think that's what we've been struck by with the pope. Everywhere he's gone, he's found things to welcome and to challenge."

    Obama advisers said they hope Francis' messages will help advance the president's agenda on issues such as climate change and income inequality.