Pope Francis to visit Obama at White House on US trip

President Obama met Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican in March 2014.

Pope Francis will visit President Obama at the White House for the first time on his visit to the US in September, it was announced yesterday.

The visit, which is only the third ever papal visit to the White House, will take place on September 23, near the start of the pope's five-day US trip for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

The two leaders met for the first time when Obama visited the Vatican last year, a meeting which (behind closed doors) laid the foundations for the Vatican's involvement in brokering restored diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba.

During the visit, the President and the Pope will continue the dialogue, which they began during the President's visit to the Vatican in March 2014, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement yesterday.

Their conversations will cover "their shared values and commitments on a wide range of issues, including caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities."

Although the Pope's official itinerary has not yet been published in full, a number of engagements are already known. In February it was announced that Francis would address a joint meeting of Congress on his visit, making him the first Pope to do so. He will also address the UN General Assembly on September 25.