It’s official: Pope Francis to address Congress in September

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(RNS) President Obama met Pope Francis at the Vatican and Wednesday (Sept. 23) will welcome him to the White HouseOfficial White House Photo by Pete Souza.

Photo by Pete Souza, courtesy of the White House via Flickr

(RNS) President Obama met Pope Francis at the Vatican and Wednesday (Sept. 23) will welcome him to the White HouseOfficial White House Photo by Pete Souza.

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WASHINGTON (RNS) No pope or religious leader who serves as a head of state has ever addressed Congress, according to the U.S. House Historian's Office.

  • Doc Anthony

    If it’s okay for Pope Francis to address Congress, it’s EQUALLY okay for Israel’s leader Netanyahu to address Congress as well.

  • Anton

    And any one of the Grand Muftis too, I suppose.

  • Karla

    When he the address happens at the United Nations he should preach a
    sermon on getting drunk being wrong with the amount of people today who
    are still getting drunk. Bible says in Ephesians 5:18 says don’t get drunk!
    1 Corinthians 6:10 says that all drunkards go to hell. The wine that Jesus
    made was new wine/from the fruit of the vine and John 2:10 says that all
    the cheap wine was brought out last so best for last refers to a diluted
    wine that was a poorer/watered down wine plus the Bible also says not
    to get drunk on strong wine for it’s debauchery so all of the people that
    get drunk on strong wine are also wrong/ go to hell. We all must Repent!

  • Religious leaders should not address congress.

    Whose next?
    Shamrock King of the Leprechaun Council?

    It matters that The Roman Catholic Church is a criminal enterprise?

    Among its crimes, it harbors pedophiles and rapists and criminal ringleaders in its fancy suites – like Cardinal Bernard Law, the ringleader of the Boston Priest Pedophile network who is hidden from international law under the protection of the pope?

    Why are so few disgusted that these clerics are allowed to roam without being asked any questions?

    Why was Father Anatole Serromba protected from the international tribunal for the Rwanda Genocide – Serromba was one of the countless mass murdering priests of Rwanda (he killed 2000 people by himself) who clearly roamed the jungles with machetes to slaughter innocent people?

    Congress should not invite heads of Criminal syndicates to make speeches.
    Neither should it invite Popes, Imams, Rabbis, Gurus or Shamrock Kings.

  • Snooze. Another opportunity for Francis to make ill-considered and ill-vetted remarks on politico-economic matters he looks at with an … uh… Argentine frame of reference.

  • I see you like non sequiturs.

  • Fran

    Here’s just another example of religion getting involved with politics, when Jesus and the first-century Christians did not (John 6:15).

    Their major purpose then was to preach the good news of God’s kingdom as the only hope for mankind since it will put an end to and replace all of man’s governments (Daniel 2:44) and bring great blessings to all meek persons on the planet (Isaiah 11:1-9; Revelation 21:1-4).

    It should be a priority now, then, for true Christians to follow Jesus’ example of preaching the good news of God’s kingdom worldwide before the end of this wicked era comes (Matthew 24:14).

  • Fran


    I agree totally with your first sentence, that religion should not get involved in politics at all; there should be separation of church and state. Yet, that is what many religions do.

  • The Great God Pan

    During the W. Administration, congressthings participated in an actual coronation ceremony in a US government building for Rev. Sun Myung Moon, during which he declared that Hitler and Stalin had posthumously acknowledged him as the Messiah.

    Compared to that, this speech will likely be small potatoes.

  • Karla

    Fran- Bible says Repent and believe the Gospel to be saved! The Gospel
    is only good news if we Repent! We all must Repent! We are all created as
    eternal beings.The soul is not destroyed as you say. Don’t you think that
    if God could’ve destroyed the devil He would have? Heaven is eternal just
    as hell is. When you say the wicked are cut off that refers to them being in
    hell where they are forever cut off/seperated from God/Lord Jesus Christ.
    When He/ God wipes the tears from their eyes it’s for the people who are
    saved not for people who stop being alive/existing which you teach/preach.
    We never stop to exist because our souls are created as eternal so for you
    to say hell is not eternal/ people who don’t go to heaven are asleep is not
    Biblical. Many so called “Christians” have died and gone to hell then they
    come back and say that hell is real/they never Repented so they died and
    went to hell. Good works don’t save! Only Repenting/trusting Jesus saves!
    The Bible clearly says/states that you are wrong! Read Revelation 14:11.

  • Come up with something other than cliches, sister.

  • The difference is that the Pope is not about to run in an election! the other difference (perhaps more significant) is that Francis is a man of peace… something Netti knows nothing about.

  • Greg

    Indeed if we want heaven we need to “repent,” or turn away from sin (Luke 13:3,5), “believe and be baptized” (Mark 16:16), have “faith” (Romans 5:1), “persevere” (James 1:12), live in “righteousness” (Matt 5:20), receive the Body & Blood (John 6:53-56), follow the commandments (1Cor 7:19), perform “good deeds” (Acts 26:20), or bring back a sinner from his “error” (James 5:20), and/or give one’s life for Christ (Mark 8:35). Being “cut-off” means to be cut off from the vine of Christ; he is the Vine (John 15:1-10), we are the branches (Rom 11:22). And come on Pope Francis, it’s time to preach the Good News of Christ! This country was founded upon Christianity, and it is time we returned to it. We have fallen far from the Tree. And indeed hell and heaven are both eternal (Matthew 25:46).

  • Karla

    Greg-Amen/very well said! We must stick to the Bible. God bless.

  • Karla

    Matthew 25:46 is perfect for people who say hell is not eternal
    because it says eternal punishment so hell and the fire in hell
    are real because the Bible says hell and hellfire are very real!

  • uyjkn

    “uh… Argentine frame of reference.”

    Translation: He’s not a Randian dbag

  • uyjkn

    Enjoy the classy Repub booing.

  • The Great God Pan
  • The correct translation is that Argentina, which was a second-tier affluent country in 1928 (rather like Spain today), is now part of the third world. The got from here to there because their political class is predatory and chronically addled, pursuing one stupid policy after another. This is something their electorate gives succor to.

    Stop pretending you know anything.

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  • Charles Freeman

    Karla, I see that you’re still standing on your figurative street corner and shouting repent. I guess I’ll ignore you again.

  • Karla

    Charles Freeman-You are loved by Christ and I appreciate all of your
    feedback. God/Jesus are very real so I hope you don’t ignore Him.

  • Charles Freeman

    If there is any activity that is an infringement of the principle of separation of church and state, it is some religious figure invited to address Congress simply because of the status of that person. There is nothing substantive that this or any religious “top dog” can add to our government functions. This action is frightening! It is being done, apparently, just as a demonstration of the power of this Congress to shove a religion finger up our backside. I would wish for one of the secular organizations to promote this case to the Supreme Court as a violation of the First Amendment.

  • Fran


    Then we will see, with our very own eyes, during Jesus’ millennial rule in the near future, whether or not people will be resurrected back to life on earth (John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15) and from where they were resurrected. Just ask them what they experienced after they died.

    Isaiah 11:1-9 describes the type of rule Jesus will exercise over humans and verse 9 says that the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover all the seas.

    Then there will be no doubts or falsehoods about death/resurrection/everlasting life concerning mankind on earth.

    So let’s see what happens then!

  • Fran


    I was just agreeing with Max on a point he made, which hardly ever happens!! lol

  • Fran

    Oops… Forgot to add, my brother, in that thing called the human race!

  • Fran

    I have absopositively no faith in man and his governments, and have been that way since I was 10 years young! I am now 60 years young, and that hasn’t changed at all! My complete faith is in God and his kingdom or heavenly government!

    I have seen man’s governments get progressively worse since I was a child, and I’m so grateful that “this” isn’t all there is!!!

  • Karla

    Fran-Amen! I can agree with you on that part I hope you will admit that
    hell is real/Jesus was not created. Hell is real/so is the Godhead. You can’t take parts out of the Bible because you don’t agree. God bless.

  • Karla

    In John:14-7-11 Jesus makes it very clear that I Am in the Father and the Father is in Me once again showing us all that Jesus is co-eternal and part of theTrinity/Godhead . Hell is real/so is the Trinity/Godhead.

  • something Netti knows nothing about.

    Except of course he has spent his life in an orderly and productive constitutional republic and presided over its government.

  • If there is any activity that is an infringement of the principle of separation of church and state,

    There is no such principle in law or custom, bar inside your head. The Constitution debars the erection of an Establishment of Religion or laws prohibiting the free exercise thereof. Neither of these are undertaken by having the Pope address Congress (any more than having a congressional chaplain is such an undertaking; the Congress which proposed the 1st Amendment also appointed a chaplain).

  • Strawberries make me happy.

  • Sweet strawberries make me happy. Do you think their are strawberries in heaven?

  • I wonder if Prime Minister and Pope Francis like strawberries? They are my favorite fruit. On occasion they’re not very sweet but it’s not their fault they were picked too early from the plant.

  • I wonder if Jesus Christ liked Strawberries? Does anyone know?

  • Hi Karla will you be my friend? Do you like Strawberries?

  • Hi Atheiest Max, will you be my friend? Do you like Strawberries?

  • Hi Charles, do you like strawberries? Will you be my friend?

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