Various media outlets are reporting that Pope Francis is going to address members of Congress on September 24th, accepting an invitation to do so extended to him last March by House Speaker John Boehner. The NPR site reports:
“We’re humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation and certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people,” the Ohio Republican told reporters.
In addition to his trip to Capitol Hill, Francis plans to travel to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families as well as to New York to visit the United Nations.
Roughly one-third of the members of Congress are Catholic, according to the Pew Research Center. Both leaders of the House of Representatives, Boehner and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, are Catholic.
Pelosi said in a statement, “We are eager to welcome His Holiness to the U.S. Capitol and we look forward to hearing his call to live our values, to protect the poor and the needy, and to promote peace.”
Pelosi, of course, has a long and consistent record of supporting abortion and contraception, and last summer had the temerity to tell her archbishop to not support Catholic teaching about marriage. Perhaps she’ll attempt the same with Francis?
NPR provides this historical note: “Francis would not be the first pope to visit the U.S. capital. Pope John Paul II traveled to Washington, D.C., in 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI visited the capital in 2008.”
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