US President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican today, October 29, and broke the ice with a good old-fashioned self-deprecating Irish joke.
Following face to face meetings where the pair discussed a range of global issues, including poverty, climate change, and the coronavirus pandemic, Mr Biden presented the pontiff with a commemorative coin.
The coin included a reference to the military unit in which President Biden’s late son Beau served.
The president told the Pope: "I'm not sure if this is appropriate, but there's a tradition in America. The president has what is called a 'command coin' that he gives to warriors and leaders.
“The tradition is – and I’m only kidding about this – next time I see you if you don’t have it, you have to buy the drinks.”
The president, a practising Catholic and lifelong teetotaller, then said: “I’m the only Irish man you’ve ever met who’s never had a drink”.
The joke landed well as Pope Francis replied through a translator that Irish “love whiskey”, as the pair smiled at one another.
It seems his holiness is no stranger to the bottle himself, as, according to Forbes ,“based on past evidence, it seems that Pope Francis may indeed like the odd tipple of whisky now and then”.