Boehner: Pope Francis to address Congress on Sept. 24

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Thursday, February 5, 2015
Pope Francis
Pope Francis, left, waves to the crowd beside Philippine President Benigno Aquino III before boarding his plane as he departs Manila, Philippines on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015.

WASHINGTON (WPVI) -- Pope Francis will address a joint meeting of Congress on Sept. 24.

He'll be the first Pontiff to do so.

House Speaker John Boehner made the announcement at a news conference, then issued a statement expressing gratitude that the pope had accepted his invitation to appear before a joint meeting of the House and Senate.

The pope is scheduled to make his first papal visit to the United States this fall.

"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 said in a written statement released as he spoke to reporters. "His teachings, prayers, and very example bring us back to the blessings of simple things and our obligations to one another."

He will be in Philadelphia to attend the World Meeting of Families.

Pope Francis is also scheduled to make a stop in New York.

Pope Benedict XVI visited Washington during a trip to the U.S. in 2008, celebrating Mass at Nationals Stadium.