Why Joe Biden Is Following Pope Francis Throughout His US Trip

Biden is the government's highest-ranking Catholic, first to be vice president.

While President Obama was front and center at the White House Wednesday, Biden, the first Roman Catholic vice president, will trail the pope throughout his six-day visit to the United States.

That’s the last time Obama will see Pope Francis in person during this visit, but Biden’s papal attentiveness continues. In the evening, he will be in attendance when the pope canonizes Junipero Serra, a Hispanic Franciscan monk who worked to evangelize the California coast during the 18th century, during a mass at the National Basilica.

Pope Francis’ visit holds particular importance to Biden, a devout Catholic who has relied on his faith since the death of son Beau in May.

“He’s the embodiment of Catholic social doctrine that I was raised with. The idea that everyone’s entitled to dignity,” the vice president said of Pope Francis in an interview with the Rev. Matt Malone, president and editor in chief of America Media, an ABC News partner.

“I’m excited, quite frankly, as a practicing Catholic. I am really excited by the whole world is getting to see what are the basic essential elements of what constitutes Catholicism.”