Pope Francis to Visit D.C.

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Washington from 22nd September to September 24th. During his visit, the pope is also set to meet President Obama at the White House and also address the Congress.

During the visit, Pope Francis is set to celebrate his public mass in Washington DC in Spanish according to Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington. This decision is believed to be as a result of the widespread presence of the Roman Catholic Church and a large Hispanic population in the United States.

Pope Francis, who is Argentinean, will deliver the address in his mother tongue to highlight the diversity in the United States, as well as to advocate for immigrants, according to Cardinal Wuerl. The archbishop was referring to the widespread communities, institutions and groups that make up the American society. According to Cardinal Wuerl, the Pope is understandably going to bring to the mind of all people their responsibility for one another.

Cardinal Wuerl further indicated that there is a high likelihood of Pope Francis to speak of the church’s lengthy principle of compassion to immigrants, especially in the wake of swelling number of refugees fleeing the Middle East to Europe.

The Pope has previously condemned the inhumane conditions that are experienced by migrants crossing the Mexico-US border. He encouraged communities that border each other to be more compassionate and more welcoming to immigrants rather than shunning them away.

The pope mentioned that he had thought of entering the United States through the Mexico-U.S border to symbolize brotherhood and support for the often stereotyped immigrants. Nevertheless, he is also expected to travel to New York City as well as Philadelphia during the course of his visit where he will celebrate an outdoor public mass.

It is believed in some quarters that the visit along with the Pope’s attention to the problems being faced by immigrants could help lighten the restrictions and the ongoing political debate with regard to the issue. It is, however, not clear to what extent the pope will call on the U.S public to show more compassion for the immigrants considering the travails they have gone through to get to the United States.

This comes in the wake of calls by the Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump, to terminate automatic citizenship of children born to immigrants who are living illegally in the United States. These calls were however strongly rebuked by various voices, including Charles Chaput, the Philadelphia archbishop who will be hosting Pope Francis in the city. The archbishop further noted that he hoped immigration would be a key part of the discussion that would take place during the world meeting of families in Philadelphia that is sponsored by the Vatican.

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