Pope Francis will address Congress during U.S. visit
Pope Francis will address a joint session in Congress on Sept. 24 during his visit to the United States, House Speaker John Boehner announced Thursday. He will be the first leader of the Catholic Church to do so.
"We are humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation," Boehner said during his weekly press conference. In a follow up statement, he said, "In a time of global upheaval, the Holy Father's message of compassion and human dignity has moved people of all faiths and backgrounds. His teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another. We look forward to warmly welcoming Pope Francis to our Capitol and hearing his address on behalf of the American people."
Boehner actually sent the open invitation to the Pope to address Congress last Marchand released a statement saying that a joint address would offer "an excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, issued his own statement, saying, "The American people look forward to hearing Pope Francis' call to love our neighbors and to find new and creative ways to meet the pressing needs of those who exist on the fringes of society. From the slums of Buenos Aires to St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis is moving the hearts of millions and inspiring a new generation with an engaging and compelling style."