US authorities finalize today preparations for the arrival on Tuesday of Pope Francisco, who will carry out an intense working agenda until September 27th, including a speech to a joint session of Congress.
Thousands of visitors will be in the capital during the Pope's visit, therefore the police announced a tight security, while the federal government asked its non-essential employees to stay home to avoid further complications in traffic.
The Supreme Pontiff will arrive on Tuesday morning at the Andrews military base, in the state of Maryland, outside of Washington DC, where he will be received by President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, a gesture that the president reserves for few visitors.
The official welcoming ceremony will take place next morning at the White House, and the Bishop of Rome will hold a meeting with Obama in the Oval Office, while he will in the afternoon visits the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
The address to the members of the Capitol will take place at 10:00 in the morning (local time) on Thursday, but before his speech, which will be the first by a Bishop of Rome in this legislative body, will meet privately with Republican Senator John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is Catholic.
US digital media are speculating on Monday that the Pope might address a wide range of topics, such as the resumption of ties between the US and Cuba, climate change, the agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, and abortion.
Some lawmakers interviewed by the diary The Hill assured that no unpleasant incidents will occur; neither will lawmakers attempt to politicize the event, as has happened on other occasions with international figures who visited the Capitol.
As part of the preparations, the State Department recommended that parliamentarians that during the meeting with His Holiness they dress conservatively, wearing dark clothes, with the women covering their shoulders, while dresses must be below knees.
On the morning of the 25th the Pope will travel to the headquarters of the United Nations, where he will be received by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and deliver a speech to the General Assembly, on 26th he will officiate a mass in Philadelphia, where he will speak on 27th at the World Meeting of Families, before returning to Rome.
According to an article published today by the Washington Post, Obama might not have a more powerful ally that the Pope Francisco, who has similar positions to that of the head of the White House regarding economic inequality, immigration, climate change and reforms to the judicial system, among others.