Two months from now, Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress during his first ever U.S. visit, making him the first pope to address the U.S. legislative body. His Sept. 24 speech will be broadcast from the West Front of the Capitol building.
House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday called the Pope's visit "a historic moment for the country."
"Given the unprecedented nature of his visit, Pope Francis' address to a joint meeting of Congress will be broadcast live to members of the public on the West Front of the Capitol," Boehner said. "In addition, Pope Francis has expressed an interest in making a brief appearance on the West Front. We look forward to welcoming Pope Francis and Americans from all walks of life to our Capitol on September 24."
Last March, Boehner sent an open invitation to the Pope to address Congress and released a statement saying that a joint address would offer "an excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full."
Francis will be in town for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. Events include the Festival of Families, an intercultural celebration of family life around the world, which will be held on Saturday, September 26, and a Papal Mass to be held on Sunday, September 27. Both of these events will take place on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and will be open to the public.
It is the Holy Father's first visit to the U.S. since serving as the Pope. He will be only the fourth reigning pontiff to visit the U.S.
Detailed plans for the pope's visit haven't been finalized, but he will travel to New York and Philadelphia in addition Washington.