Pope Francis to address Republican-controlled Congress

Before Pope Francis holds Mass on the Ben Franklin Parkway in September, in front of an expected crowd of 2 million, he’ll have a few other places to visit, according to reports.

The Catholic News Agency reports that the Pope is expected to arrive in the United States on Sept. 22 and leave Sept. 27.

His visit coincides with the World Meeting of Families, which will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

A group of leaders that are helping organize the pope’s trip met last week to discuss some of the details, according to the Catholic News Agency. The proposed plan hasn’t been finalized.

The Pope is expected to arrive in Washington, D.C. on the night of Sept. 22. The next morning, they’re suggesting he visit the White House for a welcoming ceremony, then celebrate mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. However, that Mass would be mostly for bishops and other religious leaders.

While in the nation’s capitol, Pope Francis will also deliver a speech to a joint meeting of Congress before departing for New York on Sept. 24.

Then on Sept. 25, he plans to visit the United Nation’s general assembly.

“Practically all of the heads of states and governments will be around and they will all be there on that day, so if the Pope were to finalize this visit to the U.S. that means that he would address all the heads of states and of governments, who will be sitting with their official delegations,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who is part of the planning committee.

While in New York, the Pope may also visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Ground Zero, and possibly hold Mass somewhere in the city, such as Madison Square Garden.

However, it wouldn’t be a “huge Mass,” the archbishop said, “because the focus will really be Philadelphia.”

Then Pope Francis’ final stop would be Philadelphia. He’d leave for Philly on Sept. 26 and his plans while there could include “a visit either to a children’s hospital or juvenile prison,” as well as a prayer vigil on Sept. 26 and Mass on the parkway on Sept. 27.

Learn more here http://www.worldmeeting2015.org

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