Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with the Pope on Friday, which is normally considered a big deal.
However, the Vatican decided to cancel the live feed of the meeting without any explanation.
Instead, they only showed Biden’s motorcade arriving.
This latest restriction to media coverage of the Holy See has resulted in several complaints from White House officials, as well as journalists.
The Vatican did say that it would provide edited footage of the meeting to accredited media, but provided no explanation as to why they edited the footage to begin with.
Some question whether the Vatican edited the footage in order to send a message to the Biden Administration after Jen Psaki got into a verbal spat with a reporter from a catholic news agency over abortion on Wednesday.
Pope Francis has upheld church opposition to abortion.
The New York Post has more on the mystery surrounding the Vatican's decision:
The Vatican’s press office on Thursday canceled plans to broadcast livestream video of President Biden meeting on Friday with Pope Francis and now will only broadcast the arrival of Biden’s motorcade.
It’s unclear if the White House, already under fire for limiting press access to Biden, requested that the broadcast be curtailed. Spokespeople did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
White House Correspondents’ Association President Steven Portnoy said the organization disagrees with the new plan to give journalists edited footage after the meeting.
Interestingly, the decision to cancel the live feed came a day after Jen Psaki got into a testy exchange with a catholic reporter over abortion:
Could the Vatican be attempting to send a message to the Biden Administration?
Author John Moody believes so:
Our friends at Newsmax have more on the Biden Administration's reaction to the lack of live coverage:
The head of the White House Correspondents' Association, Steven Portnoy of CBS News Radio, expressed disappointment at the lack of live coverage as well as the absence of independent media access. Biden is travelling with his own pool of reporters who would normally be allowed into the pope’s library for the beginning and end of the audience alongside reporters accredited to the Vatican.
In a series of tweets, Portnoy noted that the White House travelling pool was fully vaccinated and that such a substantial meeting between a Catholic president and the head of the 1.3-billion strong Catholic Church “demands independent coverage."
The White House spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, was asked about the limited media access to Biden’s audience and said the administration was “working through every lever we have” to get more access.
“We believe in the value of the free press. We believe in the value of ensuring you have access to the president’s trips and his visits overseas,” Psaki said during a White House briefing.