Speaker Boehner invites Pope Francis to address Congress

U.S. Capitol. Credit: Brian Jackson (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Speaker of the House John Boehner has extended an open invitation to Pope Francis to address a joint meeting of Congress, praising the Pope’s advocacy for the vulnerable.

“Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manner and servant leadership, challenging all people to lead lives of mercy, forgiveness, solidarity, and humble service,” Speaker Boehner said March 13.

“His tireless call for the protection of the most vulnerable among us—the ailing, the disadvantaged, the unemployed, the impoverished, the unborn—has awakened hearts on every continent.”

Speaker Boehner said such an address from the Pope would “honor our nation in keeping with the best traditions of our democratic institutions” and would be an opportunity for the American people and the world to “hear his message in full.”

Boehner, an Ohio Republican who is Catholic, said the Pope’s pastoral message “challenges people of all faiths and political parties.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who is Catholic, joined the invitation.

“Whether inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, who cared for all of God’s creation, or by St. Joseph, protector of the church, Pope Francis has lived his values and upheld his promise to be a moral force, to protect the poor and the needy, to serve as a champion of the less fortunate, and to promote love and understanding among faiths and nations,” she said in a separate statement.

The invitation came on the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ election to the papacy.

No Pope has ever addressed Congress, the U.S. House Historian’s office told USA Today.

Speaker Boehner said Pope Francis’ social teachings are rooted in “the joy of the gospel” and have prompted “careful reflection and vigorous dialogue” among people of all political and religious views, “particularly among those who champion human dignity, freedom and social justice.”

He said the Pope’s principles are “among the fundamentals of the American Idea.”

“And though our nation sometimes fails to live up to these principles, at our best we give them new life as we seek the common good,” he said.


Voices

Seeking the face of God in the Scriptures

Archbishop José H. Gomez

Prayer is seeking the face of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recalls the story of how St. John Vianney once found a peasant praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. The saint asked him what he was doing, and the man replied: “I look at him and he looks at me.”

Events

February 2016
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February 14, 2016

  • Sunday, February 14

    Mother Cabrini Library and Chapel Open House, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 3801 Scott Road, Burbank. The event is hosted by the Los Angeles Region.

     

    Italian Catholic Club of SCV Valentine's Day Dinner Dance, 7 p.m., Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Parish Hall), 23233 Lyons Ave., Newhall. Come enjoy a delicious gourmet buffet dinner and dance the night away to the music of Linda Pippin. Wear your favorite red dress, shirt and/or tie. All adults (single or married) are welcome. Tickets are $35 each (prepaid), or $45 at the door. Please call Anna Riggs at (661) 645-7877 to reserve your spot by Feb. 10.

     

    Stations of the Cross, 2 p.m. Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Boulevard, East Los Angeles. Continuing each Sunday of Lent. For more info, please call Calvary Cemetery: 323-261-3106.

     

    Year of Mercy Mass and Pilgrimage in The Shrine of St. John Paul II, 3 p.m., Our Lady of the Bright Mount Church, 3424 W. Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles.  Mass celebrated in English with Fr. John Paul Gonzalez of Christ the King Church.  Mass will be followed by Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and confession, with Divine Mercy Chaplet.  The closing prayer will be a blessing and veneration of the 1st class relic of St. John Paul II.  

    South Bay Catholic Co-ed Adult Softball League Pre-Season Practice Games, McMaster Park, 3624 Artesia Blvd., Torrance.  Must RSVP to Fred Lawler (League Commissioner) at (310) 504-0271 or fredlawler@hotmail.com.

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