Bill O'Reilly Meets Pope Francis Amid His Sexual Harassment Scandal and Firing

During Pope Francis’ weekly general audience, O’Reilly shook hands with the pontiff. Does he really think a last-ditch blessing can help him?

Hopefully Pope Francis keeps hand sanitizer on him.

While on his now permanent vacation, Bill O’Reilly had a chance to meet the Pope. The visit comes in the middle–now possibly the end–of O’Reilly’s battle with a flood of sexual assault accusations.

The New York Times reports, the papal meet-and-greet occurred in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican during the weekly general audience. O’Reilly has been on a curiously timed vacation in Italy the past week. Of course, he received V.I.P. treatment at the audience. Who wouldn’t give priority seating to a heavily accused sexual harasser?

A photographer for the official Vatican newspaper captured the blessed moment. Last week, the Vatican said there was no official audience scheduled with O’Reilly.

During the general audience, Pope Francis said, “God makes the most beautiful flowers bloom amid the most arid rocks.” The pontiff then addressed English-speaking audience members, including O’Reilly, saying, “I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father.”