POPE FRANCIS ARRIVES IN USA FOR HISTORIC VISIT
Joint Base Andrews, Maryland (JFK+50) CNN Breaking News reported this afternoon on the arrival of Pope Francis* to the United States. He arrived aboard his Vatican airliner here at Andrews where he was greeted by President and Mrs. Barack Obama along with their daughters. Joe Biden, who is the first Catholic Vice President, was on hand with his family, a military honor guard, and a number of Catholic religious leaders.
The Pope. who is 78 years old, flew in from Santiago de Cuba where he became the first pontiff to speak to Cubans in their native language. Pope Francis, a native of South America, is the first Pope to have been born outside of Europe in a thousand years.
The arrival of the Pope this afternoon was described by CNN as a "serious security event," but also marked by the "smiling faces of the Secret Service." While this visit by the Pope is the fourth to the United States by a pontiff, it is the first time Pope Francis has ever been in this country.
Pope Francis was presented a bouquet of flowers from children after shaking hands with a long line of dignitaries. Correspondent Jim Sciutto of CNN said that the Pope was looking forward to shaking hands with children and the homeless.
Tomorrow the Pope will participate in a formal arrival on the South Lawn of the White House and then will have a "one-on-one" discussion on the issues of the day with President Obama. He will be only the third pope to visit the Executive Mansion. The only others present at this meeting will be the translators. The issues they will talk about will include the Iranian nuclear agreement and the U.S. embargo of Cuba.
Thursday Pope Francis will deliver a speech in English to a joint session of the Congress of the United States. This will also be a historic first for a Pope. He speaks Italian, German and Spanish fluently as well as some English, French and Portuguese.
The Pope will address the United Nations General Assembly on Friday and will also lead a mass at Madison Square Garden. On Saturday, he will visit Independence Mall in Philadelphia and will depart for Rome at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
*Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Italian immigrants. JMB was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969 & completed his doctoral thesis in theology in 1986 in Germany. In 1998, he became archbishop of Buenos Aires, and elevated to cardinal in 2001. JMB was named the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church on March 13, 2013.
As Bishop of Rome, PF believes that service to the poor should be the Church's priority. He has an open door policy for the Church, and has been named Person of the Year by The Advocate, a gay & lesbian news magazine.
"Pope Francis Arrives For Historic U.S. Visit, CNN Breaking News," September 22, 2015, www.cnn.com/
"With a transformative message, pope visits US," by David Waters, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, September 22, 2015.
Pope Francis Visits Korea