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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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March 13, 2014 - 12:12 pm

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has invited Pope Francis, who marks his one-year papacy anniversary today, to address a joint session of Congress.

“It is with reverence and admiration that I have invited Pope Francis, as head of state of the Holy See and the first Pope to hail from the Americas, to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress,” Boehner said in a statement today. “Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manner and servant leadership, challenging all people to lead lives of mercy, forgiveness, solidarity, and humble service.”

“His tireless call for the protection of the most vulnerable among us—the ailing, the disadvantaged, the unemployed, the impoverished, the unborn—has awakened hearts on every continent. His social 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, who is Catholic, said the principles espoused by the pope “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. They have embraced Pope Francis’ reminder that we cannot meet our responsibility to the poor with a welfare mentality based on business calculations. We can meet it only with personal charity on the one hand and sound, inclusive policies on the other,” he continued.

“The Holy Father’s pastoral message challenges people of all faiths, ideologies and political parties. His address as a visiting head of state before a joint meeting of the House and Senate would honor our nation in keeping with the best traditions of our democratic institutions. It would also offer an excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full. It is with deep gratitude that I have asked Pope Francis to consider this open invitation on behalf of the Congress and the millions of citizens of the United States we serve.”

Boehner led an effort to urge Pope John Paul II to address Congress in the 1990s, but that never worked out. No pope has addressed Congress before.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signed on to the invitation to Pope Francis.

“I had the privilege of attending His Holiness’ inauguration at the Vatican and was inspired by his message of peace, compassion, and brotherhood,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“Whether inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, who cared for all of God’s creation, or by St. Joseph, protector of the church, Pope Francis has lived his values and upheld his promise to be a moral force, to protect the poor and the needy, to serve as a champion of the less fortunate, and to promote love and understanding among faiths and nations.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
If this happens the Pontiff should publicly excommunicate Pelosi and evey other baby killer Democrat in congress.

Would that be sweet or what?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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PS - Our Founding Fathers will be rolling over in their graves.

Getting away from the Papacy was one of the big reasons for becoming an American Colonial.
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Will he be pushing Gay Marriage and Wealth Redistribution?
26 weeks ago
26 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just as I feared Francis is another political hack slobbering over the amoral baby killing American government and its politicians.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey dingbat Bonehead -- invite Popey -- then who is next to counter the Pope's viewpoints? Kim Jong Un? Pelosi would be a good counterbalance. Invite Obama, he has views opposing our way of life.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our Catholic Speaker would be better off spending his time fighting the HHS mandate. After that, he needs to start actually fighting Obama's imperial overreach. Then he needs to start aggressively pushing for investigations into the IRS scandal and Benghazi, with an aggressive, well-organized, highly articulate chairman for both special committees. After all that's done, he should still table this idea. Pope Francis, despite all the protestations from his fans to the contrary, is a man who is highly careless and imprecise in his public statements. Who knows what he might say in such a forum? I would not bet on it redounding to the benefit of the political principles the Speaker is supposed to adhere to.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
What? He's just another human. He's a Catholic.

Why should Christians care what he says? He has no power.

27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
These are dark times, and all believers need to stick together.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your Holiness, please decline. You have only begun to address the scandals afflicting the Church. You do not have much time.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Romans used to call this bread and circus. Madam Nancy signed off on the CIA torture before she forgot she was briefed by the CIA about the torture that Madam Nancy approved. Madam Diane signed off on the CIA spying on everyone before she forgot she was briefed about the CIA spying on everyone she approved, including the spying on her her. The CIA seems to think the Senate steals from the CIA after paying for the things the Senate steals from the CIA's stealing missions. The congress keeps passing legislation the President won't sign when they could pass the only legislation not requiring a President's signature called articles of impeachment, but the president's not a white republican using the IRS to whip uppity Americans for their failure to pick Blue Cross to keep the blued bloods in the money running the health care plantation. They used to call this a black minstrel show.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
If this happens the Pontiff should publicly excommunicate Pelosi and evey other baby killer Democrat in congress.

Would that be sweet or what?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Super sweet.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I like that.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Inviting Pope Francis is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Boehner probably invited him to promote so-called immigration reform.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't doubt for a minute that it would be a three-alarm disaster. Boehner would almost certainly expect Francis to go Liberation Theology all over the place, denounce the pursuit of profit and plead for amnesty.

Francis has already shown himself to be a wishy-washy peddler of liberal sentiment. He's not about to take a strong stand against evil or tyranny or degenerate behavior. It's always the default setting of "all God's children" with him and his ilk.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
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