The Pope heads to Washington: a rundown on the 2015 papal visit

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For the first time in his life, Pope Francis is headed to the U.S. later this month for a three-city tour.

His schedule includes stops in Washington, D.C., from Sept. 22-Sept. 24, New York City from Sept 24-26 and Philadelphia from Sept 26-28.

In D.C., Francis will meet with Pres. Barack Obama and visit St. Matthew’s Cathedral. In New York, his schedule includes attending the Vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, addressing the United Nations General Assembly and conducting an interfaith service at the 9/11 Memorial.

During his time in Philadelphia, Francis will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral and meet with bishops at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

Only ticket holders will be allowed to attend the public events, which include strict police barriers. Tickets for a Central Park procession on Sept. 25 will be offered through a lottery.

Other notable aspects of his visit include:

●     Francis will conduct the Washington, D.C., Mass in Spanish. Not only is Spanish the Pope’s native tongue, but the gesture is also meant to be a nod to Hispanic Catholics, who currently make up one-third of the U.S. Catholic population.

●     He is expected to discuss a range of controversial issues. Most recently, and in preparation for the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy, he extended to priests around the world the right to lift the penalty of excommunication following an abortion.

His full schedule can be viewed here.

Contact Kara Bettis at [email protected] or @karabettis