The Vatican (Friday, 02-06-2015, Gaudium Press) House Speaker John Boehner has welcomed Pope Francis’ acceptance of an invitation to address a joint session of Congress on September 24 during his upcoming visit to the United States. The visit was confirmed Thursday by the Vatican Press Office.
In comments to the press Thursday, Boehner, a Catholic, said Pope Francis will be the first pontiff to address members of the House and Senate.
“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,” said Boehner, a Republican.
The Pope’s fall trip, his first to the United States, will include a discourse at the United Nations in New York and participation in celebrations for the World Day of Families organized by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The last Pontiff to visit the U.S. was Benedict XVI who addressed the United Nations General Assembly and visited New York and Washington D.C. in 2008.
In a written statement, Boehner 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.”
With Infromation from Vatican radio