Speaker Tasks Smith to Lead Congressional Delegation to Pope Francis Inauguration

being_introduced[1]WASHINGTON, D.C. – Speaker of the House John Boehner has tasked Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and leader on many international human rights efforts, to lead the bipartisan U.S. congressional delegation to attend the investiture of former Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis.

“It is an honor to lead this bipartisan group of House members to this international event,” said Smith, who chairs the House Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee. “The world is a challenging place, in terms of wars and peace, basic human rights and freedoms. The Holy Father has a major role to play in global affairs. I wish him well as he begins his pontificate and am honored to be a part of this historic occasion. The Pope is more than a spiritual leader for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, he is an inspiration of holiness and goodness, and above all, the faithful proclamation of the Gospel.”

While in Rome, Smith plans to meet with Vatican officials to discuss human rights issues, including human trafficking, religious freedom and culture of life issues. He expects to meet with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, The Vatican; Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Cardinal Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and two of the top U.S. prelates, New York City’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

In selecting Smith, Boehner said: “I’m pleased Congressman Smith and this 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.”

The Smith co-del to the Vatican will also include Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

Posted: March 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Catholic Church, Chris Smith, Congress, Pope Francis, Press Release | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

3 Comments on “Speaker Tasks Smith to Lead Congressional Delegation to Pope Francis Inauguration”

  1. Truly An Honor said at 5:42 pm on March 15th, 2013:

    For Congressman Smith. Well Deserved

  2. bill said at 3:36 pm on March 16th, 2013:

    Good to see Vriginia Congressman Smith going to Rome on the Taxpayers dime.

  3. How shallow said at 9:18 am on March 17th, 2013:

    can you be? Most of them have places near the Capitol, that’s where they work. I am proud of all the work Chris has done on human rights, human trafficking, violence against women, and respect for life. We are lucky to have such a humble and dedicated representative in that house of ego and ambition. It was a great choice for Chris to represent us at that solemn occasion!