Catholics from around the world will flock to Rome for next week's investiture of the new Pope. Vice-President Joe Biden is going, and House Speaker John Boehner is sending an official Congressional delegation to represent the United States. The group includes a pair of California Congresswomen: Catholic Congresswomen Loretta Sanchez of Garden Grove and Anna Eshoo of San Mateo.
Speaker Boehner, who is Catholic, will not be going since the House is voting on the GOP budget next week. But he says the installation of Pope Francis, the first pontiff ever to hail from the Americas, "is a milestone in world history and an event of monumental significance to the millions of Americans who share in the Catholic faith.”
Boehner says the bipartisan group of members will join the Vice President in communicating the "prayers and warm regards of the American people to Pope Francis as he begins his papacy.”
Eshoo calls it “a high honor" to attend the investiture of Pope Francis "and humbling to be a witness to history.”
The delegation will also include Father Patrick Conroy, the chaplain of the House of Representatives.
The House delegation will fly to Rome on commercial air flights, in compliance with the Speaker’s directive that member use of military air transportation be suspended with sequestration in effect.