Barack Obama and Pope Francis
President Barack Obama will host the Pope Francisco on September 23, during the visit of the pope to the United States, the White House said Thursday.
Presidential spokesman Josh Earnest said the president and his wife Michelle Obama will receive the pontiff at the White House. This is the first papal visit to the United States.
Obama expected to talk with the Pope of “shared values and commitments” in a wide range of topics, including attention to the marginalized and the poor, protection of religious minorities and religious freedom around the world, as well as integration of immigrants and refugees, according to the White House.
Francisco already has scheduled a speech at the UN General Assembly to world leaders on September 25. The pope also agreed to speak to the full Congress on 24 this month and will be the first time a leader of the Catholic Church speaks on Capitol Hill.
Obama met with Francisco at the Vatican in March last year. Earnest said he discussed issues such as poverty and economic opportunities, immigration and the environment. Then, too, Obama informed the Pope of secret negotiations that had started in mid-2013 delegations of the United States and Cuba for a rapprochement.
Pope played a key role in the process of normalization of relations between the two countries, as recognized in December Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, to announce a landmark agreement for the restoration of bilateral diplomatic relations, broken since 1961.
It is envisaged that the pope Francisco Washington offers a Mass for the canonization of Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, founder of several missions in California.
It is likely that during his stay in New York Pope visit the memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 2001.