On Thursday, the White House announced that Pope Francis will be visiting the USA on Sept 23. The pontiff and President Obama will discuss and exchange views on an array of subjects, including environment, religious freedom and immigration.
Pope Francis, who will be visiting the United States for the first time, will also address the Congress and speak with the United Nations. House Speaker John Boehner had tweeted on Feb 5 that Pope Francis will be the first pope to address a joint meeting of Congress.
According to USA Today, this will be the third time the White House will host a pontiff. President Carter and Pope John Paul II met in the Oval Office in 1979, while President Bush hosted Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.
Pope Francis is also slated to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
According to the Washington Post, in a separate statement written by Boehner, he said, “It is my great privilege to announce that His Holiness Pope Francis will visit the United States Capitol on Thursday, September 24, 2015. On that day, he will become the first leader of the Holy See to address a joint meeting of Congress. It will be a historic visit, and we are truly grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation.
“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.”
Pope Francis and Obama had previously met on March 2014 when the president made a visit to the Vatican.
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