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Pope Francis in America

Pope Francis is spending 10 days visiting Cuba and the United States, including a stop at the U.S. Congress, his first visit there since becoming pontiff in 2013.

Amid Pope Francis' first-ever visit to the U.S. this week, some analysts are digging into the books to note the amount of money the American government doles out to Catholic charities every year. (Associated Press)

Catholic Church collects $1.6 billion in U.S. contracts, grants since 2012

By Kelly Riddell - The Washington Times

Not to be lost in the pomp and circumstance of Pope Francis' first visit to Washington is the reality that the Catholic Church he oversees has become one of the largest recipients of federal largesse in America. Published September 24, 2015

Recent Stories

In this Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, file photo, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis listens to a customer following her office's refusal to issue marriage licenses at the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)

Vatican: Pope Francis' encounter with Kim Davis not a form of support

- Associated Press

The Vatican on Friday distanced Pope Francis from Kim Davis, the focal point in the gay marriage debate in the U.S., saying she was one of dozens of people the pope greeted in the U.S. and that their encounter "should not be considered a form of support of her position."

Among the powerful to have a front seat for Pope Francis' address in Washington were Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Secretary of State John F. Kerry. (Associated Press)

Pope Francis' message reaches far beyond the Catholic faithful

- The Washington Times

The outpouring of acclaim for Pope Francis and his message of tolerance and compassion, which he delivered in a historic address to Congress and events in three U.S. cities over the past six days, came from Americans of every religious persuasion -- not just Roman Catholics -- and even from those who are not at all religious.

Pope Francis acknowledges faithful as he parades on his way to celebrate Mass Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, Pool) **FILE**

Pope Francis: 'God weeps' for sex abuse victims

- The Washington Times

Pope Francis celebrated a huge outdoor Mass Sunday to wrap up his six-day visit to the U.S., just hours after taking the dramatic step of meeting with survivors of clergy sexual abuse and promising to hold accountable those responsible for the church scandal.

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. looks over the crowd during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Steve Helber) **  FILE **

Bernie Sanders uses Pope Francis in fundraising pitch

- The Washington Times

Sen. Bernard Sanders used Pope Francis in a fundraising appeal Thursday for his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, telling supporters that he and the pontiff were both pursuing the same social justice agenda.

Pope Francis beseeches world leaders at U.N. to protect the environment

- Associated Press

Pope Francis declared Friday that there is a "right of the environment" and that mankind has no authority to abuse it, telling more than 100 world leaders and diplomats at the United Nations that urgent action is needed to halt the destruction of God's creation.

Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, making history as the first pontiff to do so. Listening behind the pope are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Pope Francis proposes 'golden rule' of politics, demands end to death penalty

- The Washington Times

Pope Francis called on Americans to fully embrace the Golden Rule in politics as the head of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics delivered a sermon on Capitol Hill on Thursday, challenging Congress and voters alike to serve the needy and to see the world in nuance rather than the "simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil."

Sophie Cruz, 5, of suburban Los Angeles reaches to give Pope Francis a letter and t-shirt during a parade in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. The massive security apparatus protecting Pope Francis on his historic, six-day trip to the U.S. got its first test Wednesday as the 5-year-old girl with a gift for the pontiff made her way through a security barrier and onto his parade route. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

Pope Francis' security faces Capitol test after parade incident

- Associated Press

The massive security apparatus protecting Pope Francis on his trip to the United States will be tested further Thursday, a day after a 5-year-old California girl made her way through a security barrier and onto his parade route.

American Catholics are "concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty," Pope Francis told President Obama at the arrival ceremony in his honor at the White House. (Associated Press)

Pope lectures Obama on religious liberty

- The Washington Times

Pope Francis called for American leadership Wednesday in combating climate change, embracing immigrants and caring for the poor, using his unparalleled pulpit to sound solidarity with President Obama on a host of issues -- but the pontiff also poked the White House on religious liberty, and insisted pro-life and family causes were at the center of his visit.

Pope Francis greets children as he is escorted by President Barack Obama after arriving at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. The Pope is spending three days in Washington before heading to New York and Philadelphia. This is the Pope's first visit to the United States. First lady Michelle Obama, second from right, and Sasha Obama, right, watch. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Interpreting Pope Francis' views on family

- Deseret News

When he was elected in March 2013, Pope Francis was a breath of fresh air for the Catholic Church, says Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family.

Pope Francis prays inside the sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, in El Cobre, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. Francis arrived in the sanctuary shortly after landing in the nearby eastern city of Santiago, his final stop in Cuba before heading to the U.S. on Tuesday. The pontiff brought a bouquet of flowers that he placed before the foot-tall wooden statue of the Virgin prayed for a few minutes. (Tony Gentile/Pool via AP)

Trump: I'd discuss religion, global warming with pope

- The Washington Times

Billionaire businessman and 2016 Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said if he got some time with Pope Francis, who is in the United States this week, he'd like to talk to him about a lot things, including religion and global warming.

Pope Francis, official Washington and the rest of us

- The Washington Times

We've been told to mind our P's and Q's while Pope Francis is here -- no fist bumps or handshakes, please and thank you -- and to wear our patience on our sleeves, because it's anticipated there will be massive vehicular tie-ups and foot traffic from Tuesday, when he arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, until he departs Philadelphia for Rome on Sunday.

In this photo taken on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, children greet Pope Francis with flowers upon his arrival at Santiago de Cuba's airport, Cuba. Pope Francis began a 10-day trip to Cuba and the United States on Saturday, embarking on his first trip to the onetime Cold War foes after helping to nudge forward their historic rapprochement. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

Donald Trump trumped by Pope Francis: poll

- Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis can look forward to a warm welcome in the United States this week, from both Catholic and non-Catholic Americans.  

Pope Francis waves to reporters at Rome's Fiumicino international airport, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, as he boards his flight to La Habana, Cuba, where he will start a 10-day trip including the United States. (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Pope Francis praises U.S.-Cuba detente as model for world

- Associated Press

Pope Francis hailed detente between the United States and Cuba as a model of reconciliation for the world, urging Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro to persevere in building normal ties as the pontiff launched a 10-day tour of the former Cold War foes Saturday.

Pope plans to duck dissidents in Cuba, spawning criticism

- Associated Press

Pope Francis plans to meet with Cuba's president and its priests, its young and its sick, its churchgoers and its seminarians as he travels around the island starting Saturday. But not with its dissidents.

A worker hangs banners ahead of Pope Francis' scheduled visit, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Victim advocates seek Vatican inquiry of Cardinals Rigali, Burke

- Associated Press

Priests, nuns and canon lawyers who advocate for clergy sex abuse victims urged Pope Francis, on the eve of his U.S. visit, to investigate the child protection records of Cardinal Justin Rigali, the former archbishop of Philadelphia, and Cardinal Raymond Burke, who led dioceses in Wisconsin and Missouri.

Recent Opinion Columns

Family matters: A global snapshot inspired by Pope Francis

- The Washington Times

Pope Francis is laying a lot on us during his visit to the United States, and he's not yet done. His remarks in New York at the United Nations shouldn't be cast aside, and we should pay attention to what he espouses as a way forward in Philadelphia at the World Meeting of Families.

Pope Francis speaks to bishops during the midday prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015.  (Mark Wilson/Pool Photo via AP)

What I wish the pope would say to Congress

A pontifical-portrait toaster, Papal brewskies, pontifex-inspired milkshakes, a life-sized, cardboard cutout of Francis himself, and even, yes, holy cheese! Sounds like the pope has come to town.

President Barack Obama talks with Pope Francis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Congress should boycott Pope Francis

Don't look now, but another person who hates free market capitalism, calls for radical government action to address global warming, wants to silence free expression, believes lawmakers should micromanage the family lives and sexual behavior of individuals, and has people convinced he's infallible is in Washington.

In this Sept. 16, 2015, file photo, Pope Francis speaks during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)

Angling for a piece of the pope

- The Washington Times

Everybody wants a piece of the pope. Fidel Castro and his little brother in crime applaud Pope Francis' assault on the very idea of capitalism, and Barack Obama wants to use the pontiff as a recruit in his war on what he perceives to be the "social injustice" of thwarting the Obama agenda and threatening the Obama legacy.

A visit by Pope Francis

This is a big week for foreign visitors. Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, arrives and no sooner leaves Washington than the leader of China comes to town for a state visit. Pomp and circumstance were never so abundant. It's a good week to stay out of the tangle of blocked streets the visits will make of downtown traffic.

The Effort to Reform Mandatory Sentencing Laws Illustration by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Giving voice to the disadvantaged

When Pope Francis comes to Washington this month, he will give a voice to the many disadvantaged, poor and incarcerated individuals who often struggle to be heard.