Pope Francis has been invited by House Speaker John Boehner to speak to a joint session of Congress, the ABC News website reports today (March 13, 2014).
Boehner extended the formal invitation today in a letter to the Vatican -- on the one-year anniversary of his papacy -- saying the Holy Father has "awakened hearts on every continent."
"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," Boehner wrote. "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."
Boehner -- a Catholic himself -- said the pope's message "challenges people of all faiths, ideologies, and political parties."