House Speaker John Boehner issued Pope Francis an open invitation to speak to Congress “and the millions of citizens of the United States we serve.”
“Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manner and servant leadership, challenging all people to lead lives of mercy, forgiveness, solidarity and humble service,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said today in a statement.
Addressing a joint meeting of Congress is seen as an honor for U.S. lawmakers to give a visiting world leader. Francis, in addition to leading the Roman Catholic Church, is also the head of state of the Holy See.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said, “Pope Francis has lived his values and upheld his promise to be a moral force, to protect the poor and the needy, to serve as a champion of the less fortunate, and to promote love and understanding among faiths and nations.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Wallbank in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jodi Schneider at email@example.com Laurie Asseo