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Pope Francis to Address a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress

Pope Francis to Address a Joint Session of the U.S. Congress

The Holy See Press Office has confirmed that Pope Francis
will address a Joint Session of the United States Congress on 24 September 2015
during his pastoral visit to the U.S.A. The Speaker of the House of
Representatives, John Boehner, made the announcement earlier on Thursday. In
his statement, Mr. Boehner said the Holy Father’s “historic visit” would make
him the “first leader of the Holy See to address a joint meeting of Congress,”
adding that he was “truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation.”

Mr. Boehner noted that “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.”

A statement from the Archdiocese of Washington described the
announcement as “a great honor and tremendous joy to welcome our Holy Father,
Pope Francis, to the Archdiocese of Washington during his proposed pastoral
visit to the United States in September.”

On his January 19 return flight from the
Philippines to Rome, Pope Francis met with the press corps travelling with him
and said that his September 2015 trip to the U.S. would take him to
Philadelphia, New York and Washington. During his press conference with journalists
aboard that flight, he announced that he would be addressing the General
Assembly of the United Nations in New York City, as well as confirming his
presence and participation in the World Meeting of Families set to take place
in Philadelphia on September 26 & 27.