WASHINGTON, July 20. 2015 – When Pope Francis visits Capitol Hill this September, he will be the first pontiff to address a joint meeting of Congress. Of interest to note is that more than 30 % of the members are nominally Catholic.
The visit will fulfill a long-held dream of House Speaker John Boehner, who calls himself a “blue-collar Cahtolic.” He has extended invitations to popes for nearly 20 years, and Francis, after taking nearly a year to ponder, is the first to accept.
The pope’s visit comes with some built-in tensions for many of the Republicans in Congress, including professing Catholics. While the pontiff has made no changes in church doctrine yet, Francis has strongly claimed ideological ground opposite that of Mr. Boehner and his cronies.
He has criticized the excesses of capitalism, calling it the “dung of the devil,” demanded action to stop global warming and happily supported the new nuclear accord with Iran.
AND SO TO VERSE:
When Pope Francis speaks to Congress he will need some good translators;
otherwise he’ll never reach our blusterous debaters.
It’s not Italian they can’t wrap their heads around, you see,
but virtuous terms like “Justice,” “Faith,” and even “Honesty.”
Congress just can’t grasp such things. To them it’s all like Greek,
for lobbyists have taught them all the words they need to speak.