From ............ National Catholic Reporter
August 12, 1994
CONGRESS INVITES POPE TO ADDRESS JOINT SESSION
An Ohio Republican and 70 of his colleagues in Congress have asked House Speaker Thomas Foley, D-Wash., to invite Pope John Paul II to address a joint session of Congress.
"As a world leader, ambassador of peace and an important catalyst in the fall of the Iron Curtain of Eastern Europe, the pope is an important figure in world politics,” said Rep. John Boehner, who spearheaded the drive that received bipartisan support.
One potential glitch is that Congress will have adjourned about two weeks prior to the papal visit, but a Foley aide said that if the pope wanted to address Congress, it could be arranged.
“He's got a pretty busy schedule already,” Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, chief spokesman for the U.S. bishops, said of the pope. The papal itinerary for the Oct. 20-23 U.S. visit is "close to being finally approved," he added. While “we don't want to turn our back on" the invitation to address Congress, Maniscalco said, "fitting this in would be problematic.”
The pope was also invited to speak to Congress during his 1979 visit, but it was declined because the offer came one month before the visit and his schedule could not be rearranged.