Papal spokesman describes Francis' reaction to news about his host in Congress
Asked after Pope Francis’s Mass at Madison Square Garden Friday night if the Pope had any reaction to House Speaker John A. Boehner’s resignation from Congress, papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said he had not talked to the Pope about the news during the day.
“Obviously, he was informed about this,” Father Lombardi said. “He was impressed how the Speaker was emotionally moved yesterday during the meeting with him, receiving him and during the meeting with him, recalling his experience and Catholic education, as well as his accompanying him to the balcony to greet the people. The Pope was telling me he was impressed by the profound participation and emotion of the Speaker.”
Father Lombardi made his remarks during the daily press conference he has been holding during the Pope’s visit to Cuba and the United States.
Also at the press conference was Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who added, “Father Lombardi expressed to all of us who were present that there were no signs that John Boehner would have said anything in anticipation, other than that he was very emotional, and he spoke about how important it was for him that our Holy Father came and that it was a dream that he would address Congress. So I guess looking from today back, we can see how deeply emotional it was for him to realize he was going to make this announcement today.”
An earlier headline inadvertently made it sound like the pope knew in advance of the resignation. It has been changed for sake of clarity.