Boehner invites Pope to address Congress
March 13th, 2014
03:32 PM ET
9 years ago

Boehner invites Pope to address Congress

(CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner marked Pope Francis’ first anniversary Thursday by extending an open invitation to him to address a joint meeting of Congress.

Boehner, who is Catholic, noted in a statement that the Argentinian was the first Pope "to hail from the Americas."

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The Speaker said his teachings, "rooted in ‘the joy of the gospel,’ have prompted careful reflection and vigorous dialogue among people of all ideologies and religious views in the United States and throughout a rapidly changing world, particularly among those who champion human dignity, freedom, and social justice."

Boehner’s letter to Francis said the invitation was on behalf of the bipartisan leadership of the House and the Senate.

Francis marked his first year as leader of the Catholic Church with a simple message to his nearly 4 million Twitter followers: "Please pray for me."

President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to the Vatican on March 27 for an audience with Francis.

Since he took his post last year, Francis has put a major emphasis on social justice.

In his statement, Boehner alluded to the political debate about Francis' outspoken comments on the inequities of capitalism.

Boehner said the principles Francis emphasizes 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. Many in the United States believe these principles are undermined by ‘crony capitalism’ and the ongoing centralization of political power in the institutions of our federal government, which threaten to disrupt the delicate balance between the twin virtues of subsidiarity and solidarity."

The Vatican has not announced any plans for the Pope to visit the United States.

Filed under: Congress • John Boehner • Pope Francis
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. GOP = Greed Over People

    The House GOP would all walk out when he started advocating to help the poor, sick, elderly and disabled, WITHOUT judging their worthiness.

    That authority is not contained in the job description of us mere mortals, outside the self-righteous, self-appointed, House GOP.

    March 13, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    All those crooks in Congress need to meet the Pope so they can confess their sins against the American people- they're all going to hell

    March 13, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    The Pope can't help you Godless people in Congress. If anyone needs to get chastised by him though, it should be Paul Ryan for his insensitivity to the poor and his blatant lying.

    March 13, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. Paul

    There's walking into a den of snakes and then there's walking into a den of politicians.

    The Pope would probably get a "The Valley of the Shadow of Death, no problem. Congress, you're on you own there bro." message if he did go.

    March 13, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. QS

    I don't think I'll ever understand how conservatives say stuff like Boehner is saying, while keeping a straight face.

    March 13, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. Saboth

    I think that if the Pope went to Congress, he'd do so just to splash holy water on them and watch them burst into flame.

    March 13, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    I hope he does, and I hope he schools the nitwits Teatrolls and the plutocrat wh-res in the GOP when he does it.

    March 13, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  8. Greg

    With any hope he will free them of there wrong ways and they will stop protecting the special interest groups and start working for the people....

    March 13, 2014 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to the Vatican on March 27 for an audience with Francis."
    Hmmph. I have no doubt that the President would have reciprocated and extended an invitation to visit the U.S. Given the highly partisan manueverings that we see in Congress, I cannot help but wonder if Boehner purposely jumped the gun and extended his own invitation to one-up the President. I'm not accusing, but one has to wonder. Republicans love to take credit for anything good that happens.

    March 13, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  10. The insightful lemur

    Soooo Boehner DOES understand why America is in decline but just chooses to not give a crap. Also, bipartisan leadership? What a crock.

    March 13, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Spazcat91

    I hope bar bouncing pope kicks out the idiots in congress and puts in decent minded people!

    March 13, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |

    Thinkagain @ You are so wrong ! A black mans blood saved my dads life in 1950 with his blood . I 0we my life to that man 4 his kindness ! Most of you uppity dems act like black folks ant nothin but a vote .And they should be treated much better . And for this you will pay! Good try 0 .

    March 13, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Plutocracypolitician

    I don't think the Pope is interested in seeing a bunch of sinners, but whatever.

    March 13, 2014 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Why are they honoring the first Socialist Pope? After al, he did point out that there is a human cost to capitalism, and we all know that is a horrible, Dem-Socialist lie.

    I just wanted to cover all the whack-job right wing responses to this announcement.

    March 13, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. Nick

    This is such a brazen and BLATANT blurring of the lines between church and state. I am beside myself with fury. Now admittedly I hate Boehner for several other reasons other than his Catholicism...but the fact that a religious leader is being asked to speak to Congress, an elected body of officials whose religious beliefs and affiliations should be shed from their shoulders the moment they take office is MISGUIDED at best. The Pope should have zero say whatsoever in policy – just as little a say as a politician should have in matters of the private church.

    March 13, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    Let's see, the weeper of the house that wants to control our every move wants to invite a Pope who is against everything the house and the rafaelitos are doing?
    That should be interesting. Keep the Canadian terrorist away from him I'd he does agree to speak to congress because the messiah might melt like the satan he is!

    March 13, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. SteveInMN

    Boehner inviting the Feed-the-Poor Pope is akin to Hitler hosting a Rabbi convention.

    March 13, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Al-NY,NY

    The Speaker said his teachings, "rooted in ‘the joy of the gospel,’ have prompted careful reflection and vigorous dialogue among people of all ideologies and religious views in the United States and throughout a rapidly changing world, particularly among those who champion human dignity, freedom, and social justice."

    1. human dignity: sorry Tan Man. you fail
    2. freedom: again, for your "type" yes. everyone
    3. social justice: EPIC FAIL

    Your ideas and the pope's about many things are not even in the same continent. Don't try to capitalize on his words for your own gain

    March 13, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. CryBabySpeaker

    Hope he accepts! Maybe he can introduce Boehner to the Gospel, because the speaker doesn't have a clue how to care for the "least of these".....

    March 13, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. gary

    I'm sure this Pope will do better than Billy Graham. The Red Neck preacher gave Sarah Palin dinner but could hardly squeeze in 30 minutes for our President.
    If Bohener wants to talk to the Pope it should be in a confessional.

    March 13, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  21. Pat

    GOOD. Maybe the Pope can make real people of them!!!!!!

    March 13, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. david saint

    Oh im am going to enjoy it if he goes and repeats what he has been saying as of late..basically everything the GOP has been fighting against, he is FOR! lol be careful what you wish for GOP...

    March 13, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Jme

    The left hates him.

    March 13, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama


    @DM4O-Remember the "You lie" congress member? No reponse and he was shunned.
    How could I forget Rep Joe Wilson yelling that out NOT at a town meeting, or a rally but at the POTUS FIRST internationally televised address to a joint session of congress.
    I think we are comparing apples and oranges here smith is what I'm saying.
    It was a HUGE breach of protocol by a member of Congress who is expected to know better, not a Joe Blow American citizen .
    Such a huge breach of protocol that the President actually and visibly paused.

    March 13, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Tom

    Be careful Francis... stupid is contageous.

    March 13, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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