- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 5, 2015

Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress during his September visit to the U.S., House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday.

Mr. Boehner said the speech, slated for Sept. 24, is the first time a pope will have spoken to Congress.

Mr. Boehner issued the invitation to the pope last March, when it became known Francis was considering a visit to the U.S. later this year for a major church meeting.

“In a time of global upheaval, the Holy Father’s message of compassion and human dignity has moved people of all faiths and backgrounds,” Mr. Boehner said Thursday in announcing the pope has accepted the invitation. “His teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another.”

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