Pope Francis will deliver an address to Congress in September, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday. “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.”
The pontiff is also scheduled to visit Philadelphia for the World Conference on Families and New York to stop by the United Nations.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — who, like Boehner, is Catholic — said in a statement that she is “honored and overjoyed” about the visit.
“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,” she added. “In the spirit of the namesake of San Francisco, St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis’ universal message of love and compassion speaks to millions around the world.”