U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill visited Saint Peter's Basilica to meet Pope Francis after his inauguration at the Vatican on March 19, 2013. Pope Francis celebrated his inaugural mass on Tuesday among political and religious leaders from around the world.
According to news reports, the vice president didn’t kiss the papal ring as Roman Catholics (yes, he is one) would do when they meet the Holy Father. Biden believes that by doing so he his following his mother’s principles and that this is matter of dignity for him.
When Biden met the queen of England as a young U.S. Senator, he didn’t kiss her ring because his mother had told him that “no one was better than him” and while he treats everyone respectfully he should also ‘demand respect’. For this very reason, when Joe Biden met the late Pope John Paul II, he didn’t kiss his ring either.
Therefore, if Biden didn’t kiss the Holy Father’s ring, he didn’t mean any disrespect. Instead, it was all about respect and dignity, his respect and dignity to be precise.