WASHINGTON – Pope Francis will make an unprecedented address to Congress on Sept. 24. He formally accepted an invitation from House Speaker John Boehner. This is the first time a Pope or religious leader who serves as a head of state has ever addressed Congress, according to the House Historian’s Office.
Pope Francis was elected to lead the Roman Catholic church in 2013.
He will also visit the United Nations in New York and host a Catholic rally in Philadelphia this fall during his first visit to the United States as Pope.
House Speaker John Boehner is catholic. He said this about the Pope’s visit…”We’re humbled that the holy father has accepted our invitation. We certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is also Catholic, and said she’s honored that Pope Francis will address Congress, saying, “Pope Francis has renewed the faith of Catholics worldwide and inspired a new generation of people, regardless of their religious affiliation, to be instruments of peace.”
One Pew Research Center study says about 31%, of Congressional lawmakers are Catholic.
The Pope is also expected to meet with President Obama at the White House during his trip. His staff says the president is certainly looking forward to a visit from the pope.