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“Creepy” Biden gets up close and personal as he greets Pope Francis

Pope Francis became the first pontiff to address a G7 summit on Friday, raising alarm bells about artificial intelligence, but his visit got off to an awkward start thanks to President Joe Biden.

The center-left pope, who is sometimes sarcastically referred to as Karl Marx-like Pope Karl, challenged world leaders to keep human dignity first in the development and use of artificial intelligence, according to the Associated Press. Francis used his annual peace message this year to call for an international treaty to ensure AI is developed and used ethically.

Upon their arrival, Francis, who was sitting in a wheelchair, greeted all the leaders. When he reached Biden, the 81-year-old president bent down to greet the pope and, for a split second, appeared to almost stumble into the pontiff's lap. It ended up surprisingly close, and the 87-year-old pontiff appeared to be taken by surprise when their foreheads appeared to touch.

(Source: Getty Images)

Uncomfortably close is a Biden trademark, as he has a well-established reputation for “sniffing out” children, but it seemed clear that Pope Francis wasn't expecting a presidential whiff.

Interestingly, while reporting on the meeting, NBC News senior White House correspondent Gabe Gutierrez was quick to note that Biden is “a devout Catholic,” despite his staunch pro-abortion stance.

Here is a Forbes video of Pope Francis greeting the summit participants:

On the other hand, Francis met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy while at the summit. The pope said in March that Ukraine should have the courage of the “white flag” and negotiate an end to the war with Russia. With war raging in Ukraine and Gaza, the pope said CBS News in April that “a negotiated peace is better than an endless war”.

“Countries at war, all of them, stop the war. Look to negotiate. Look for peace,” he said, without naming Ukraine.

As for Biden's up-close-and-personal greeting, social media users weren't all that surprised, though some didn't expect him to sniff a pope.

Here's a quick sampling of responses to the story, as seen on social media platform X:

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