Pope Francis and Selected Global Issues: Background for Papal Address to Congress [September 8, 2015] [open pdf - 770KB]
"Following a September 19-22 visit to Cuba, Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the United States from September 22-27. His visit will begin in Washington, DC, and include a visit to the White House, a public mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and an address to Congress. Speaker of the House John Boehner invited Pope Francis to address a joint meeting of Congress based on his position as head of state of the Holy See (an international entity analogous to a sovereign state) and his 'social teachings…that have prompted careful reflection and vigorous dialogue.' On September 24, 2015, Pope Francis will become the first pope to address a joint congressional session. […] This report provides Members of Congress with background information on Pope Francis and a summary of a few selected global issues of congressional interest that have figured prominently on his agenda. The background section on Pope Francis includes a biographical sketch of his life as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, followed by a brief overview of his papacy thus far. The report then identifies some--but not all--of the global issues of concern to Pope Francis. Those include environmental stewardship, poverty and inequality, peace and diplomacy, and human trafficking. The report includes one appendix addressing logistical and security concerns surrounding the papal visit and another summarizing the aforementioned encyclical, Laudato Si. It also refers readers to additional sources of information analyzing the extent to which Pope Francis has addressed issues within the Catholic Church, including corruption within the Vatican and the ongoing issue of sexual assault/exploitation by some priests."
CRS Report for Congress, R44184
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html