Pope Francis will address Congress when he visits the US later this year


Pope Francis will visit the United States for the first time in September, and his first stop will be Congress.

According to FOX News, the leader of the Catholic Church will speak to both Houses on September 24. This address will make Francis the first Pope to speak in a session of the US Congress.

"We're humbled that the Holy Father has accepted our invitation and certainly look forward to receiving his message on behalf of the American people," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told FOX News in a statement.

"In a time of global upheaval, the Holy Father's message of compassion and human dignity has moved people of all faiths and backgrounds," Boehner, who is Catholic, said in a written statement.

"His teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another," Boehner's statement concluded.

FOX News reported that Pope Francis will be paying a visit to the White House in Washington, D.C. He is also expected to visit United Nations headquarters in New York, as well as attend a rally with Catholic families in Philadelphia.

Boehner invited the Pope to speak in the US Congress in March last year. His official statement said that "Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manner and servant leadership," and that it is only fitting that the Pope speak to Congress on behalf of the American people because the fundamentals being taught by His Holiness are also "fundamentals of the American Idea."

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Argentina, recently concluded a week-long pastoral visit to East Asia from January 15 to 19. The pastoral visit took the leader of the Roman Catholic Church to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, before returning to the Vatican.