Bill O’Reilly met Pope Francis on Wednesday morning in Vatican City as reports of the cable news anchor’s impending exit from Fox News continue to swirl stateside.
O’Reilly, who announced last week he would take a vacation from “The O’Reilly Factor,” was in the Vatican’s VIP line in St. Peter’s Square as the pontiff made his way through the crowd shaking hands. The moment was captured by an Italian photographer, which can be viewed here. O’Reilly had previously lectured Pope Francis during a February 2016 episode of his show over comments the Pope made about Donald Trump being “not Christian” given his stance on immigration.
“I would suggest to Pope Francis, that millions of Americans have been harmed economically by our immigration system which desperately needs reform,” O’Reilly said at the time. “I think I could persuade the Pope that providing protection and enforcing settled law is certainly not un-Christian.”
The Vatican stated last week that O’Reilly would not have private audience with the Pope during his current visit to Vatican City, per the New York Times.
O’Reilly has been under fire since a New York Times report surfaced stating that five women had received payments coming to about $13 million in exchange for agreeing not to pursue litigation or speak about accusations related to sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior by O’Reilly. O’Reilly in a statement said his fame had made him a target, but that no complaint about him had ever been made through Fox’s human-resources hotline.
A large number of advertisers have announced their decision to suspend their ties with “The O’Reilly Factor,” including Jenny Craig, GlaxoSmithKline, Mitsubishi Motors, BMW and Ainsworth Pet Nutrition.