Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Wednesday that Pope Francis' address to a joint meeting of Congress in September will be broadcast live to the public on the West Front of the Capitol.
The public's expected demand to see the pope during his Sept. 24 visit to Capitol Hill prompted the speaker's decision. “The visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. Capitol is a historic moment for the country," Boehner said in a statement. "Given the unprecedented nature of his visit, Pope Francis’ address to a joint meeting of Congress will be broadcast live to members of the public on the West Front of the Capitol. In addition, Pope Francis has expressed an interest in making a brief appearance on the West Front. We look forward to welcoming Pope Francis and Americans from all walks of life to our Capitol on September 24.”
Boehner initially extended the offer to speak to Congress in March 2014. Pope Francis accepted the invitation on Feb. 5.
The Vatican released the pope's September travel schedule last month. He will first stop in Cuba, where he played an integral role re-establishing relations between the island country and the United States.
See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.