OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
President Joe Biden met with Pope Francis this weekend at the Vatican and the meeting was long compared to other president’s meetings with popes.
No one appears to know why the meeting went as long as it did, but on Saturday a rumor began circulating the Internet that claimed the president had a bathroom accident during the meeting.
It is important to note that there is no evidence to support the veracity of these claims nor has anyone with official knowledge of the meetings confirmed or denied the rumors.
But that did not stop them from trending like wildfire on Twitter with the hashtag #PoopypantsBiden actually trending at number one in the United States for a time.
Former Nevada Republican Party Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian appeared to have been the first to get the rumor started on Twitter.
“The word around Rome is that Biden’s meeting with the Pope was unusually long because Biden had a bit of an ‘bathroom accident’ at the Vatican & it had to be addressed prior to him leaving,” she said. “I know we joke often about this, but this is the actual rumor going around Rome now.”
The word around Rome is that Biden’s meeting with the Pope was unusually long because Biden had a bit of an “bathroom accident” at the Vatican & it had to be addressed prior to him leaving.
I know we joke often about this, but this is the actual rumor going around Rome now.
— Amy Tarkanian (@MrsT106) October 30, 2021
The rumor was then fueled by an anonymous user, and popular conservative account, the aptly named Catturd who dared his followers to get it trending.
“Trend it …… #PoopyPantsBiden I Dare You,” the account said.
Trend it …… #PoopyPantsBiden
I Dare You … 😂😂😂
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) October 31, 2021
And trend it they did.
Rumor is…. Biden pooped his pants while at the Vatican.
— Juanita Broaddrick (@atensnut) October 31, 2021
— ChrisTINe Boger🇺🇸⚓ (@2trammer) October 30, 2021
I can't wait for Peter Doocy to ask Jen Psaki about #PoopyPantsBiden
— Vince Langman (@LangmanVince) October 31, 2021
#PoopypantsBiden is #1!
— Brick Suit (@Brick_Suit) October 31, 2021
— BidenCheated (@SlipKid67) October 31, 2021
Remember when Biden’s dogs were blamed for pooping on the floor in the White House and then they got rid of them? Makes you think. 🤔#PoopypantsBiden
— Stephanie (@StephHoover8) October 31, 2021
— Savage Neanderthal (@TheKingIsBack80) October 31, 2021
There is really no way to know what happened at the meeting between Biden and the pope because, right before they met the Vatican changed the media access to the event.
The Vatican, with no explanation, canceled a live broadcast of the meeting, The Washington Post reported.
The Vatican press office provided no explanation for why the live broadcast of Biden’s visit had been trimmed to cover just the arrival of the president’s motorcade in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace, where a Vatican monsignor will greet him.
Cancelled was any live coverage of Biden actually greeting Francis in the palace Throne Room, as well as the live footage of the two men sitting down to begin their private talks in Francis’ library, at which time the cameras normally would have stopped running.
The Vatican said it would provide edited footage of the encounter after the fact to accredited media.
Biden, the second Catholic U.S. president, has met Francis three previous times, but this will be his first as president.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has been asked about the limited media access to Biden’s audience with the pope, which has now become more limited.
“What I can assure you of is that we are working through every lever we have to advocate for access for the press pool and for press when the president visits the Vatican. 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,” she said to reporters on Thursday.
“We are going on a visit. It is not a host here, so I can’t offer you a guarantee, but I can guarantee you we will continue to advocate,” the press secretary said.
The audience was being closely monitored since U.S. bishops are due to meet in a few weeks for their annual fall convention, with one of the agenda items inspired by conservatives who contend that Biden’s support for abortion rights should disqualify him from receiving Communion.
This week the Bishop of Providence Thomas Tobin challenged the pope to deny communion to the president.
“Dear Pope Francis, You have boldly stated that abortion is ‘murder,’” he said. “Please challenge President Biden on this critical issue. His persistent support of abortion is an embarrassment for the Church and a scandal to the world. Thank you. Very respectfully, Your brother +Thomas.”