The Washington Times - March 19, 2013, 10:15AM

House Speaker John A. Boehner applauded Tuesday’s installation of Pope Francis, calling him a “gracious and faithful servant of God.”

The Ohio Republican, a Catholic, added he was particularly pleased the new Argentine pontiff hails from the Americas.


“This, of course, is a milestone in world history and an event of monumental significance to the millions of Americans who share in the Catholic faith,” said Mr. Boehner in a video released Tuesday.

“So I’m pleased that a delegation of my colleagues has joined the vice president at the Vatican to share warm wishes on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives and the American people,” he said. “I also offer congratulations to Pope Francis and pray that God will grant him strength, good health, and wisdom.”

Mr. Boehner turned down President Obama’s invitation to join the American delegation, saying that while he wanted to go but was too busy with work.