Speed Reads

His Holiness

Pope Francis could become the first pontiff ever to address Congress

Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has invited Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress. If Pope Francis accepts, he would be the first head of the Catholic Church to ever address the legislative body.

"The Holy Father's pastoral message challenges people of all faiths, ideologies, and political parties," Boehner said in a statement. "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."