The Papal Visit - Frequently Asked Questions |
When will Pope Francis visit the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.?

Pope Francis will address a Joint Meeting of Congress on Thursday, September 24, 2015, beginning at 10am, ET.  

What is a Joint Meeting of Congress?

A Joint Meeting is the preferred method for receiving addresses from foreign leaders and dignitaries. Joint Meetings are used for special commemorative events and to receive addresses by domestic dignitaries.  To initiate a Joint Meeting, both the House and Senate, by resolution or by unanimous consent, declare themselves in recess for a joint gathering in the House Chamber.

Pope Francis will be addressing a Joint Meeting of Congress in his role as Head of State of the Holy See.

How was Pope Francis invited to address Congress?

Speaker Boehner issued a formal invitation to Pope Francis to address a Joint Meeting of Congress on March 13, 2014. The Vatican officially accepted the Speaker’s invitation on February 5, 2015.

How can I watch the Pope's address to Congress?

You can watch the address live on your computer or mobile device by visiting on September 24th.  You can also follow Speaker Boehner on Facebook or Twitter for live, behind-the-scenes photos and video.  Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. Capitol will also be broadcast on television by C-SPAN.

In what language will Pope Francis’ deliver his address?

Pope Francis will speak to Congress in English. 

What is happening on the West Front of the Capitol for the Pope’s visit?

The U.S. Congress will be hosting a ticketed jumbotron broadcast of the Pope’s address to Congress on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.  Dependent on an on-time schedule, the Pope has expressed an interest in coming to see the public out on the West Front following his address to Congress. 

How do I get a ticket to the West Front broadcast of Pope Francis’ address?

Due to the high level of interest, a limited number of tickets have been made available to the public to view a simulcast of the address from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, where Pope Francis is also expected to make an appearance from the Speaker’s balcony.  Please contact your Representative or Senator for more information.  

Will I be able to watch Pope Francis’ address from the National Mall?

Any questions regarding access to or viewing opportunities from the National Mall should be directed to the National Park Police

What roads will be closed? Where can I park that day? Should I just take the Metro? 

The United States Capitol Police and local law enforcement have put in place security protocols to keep everyone safe and make the Capitol as accessible as possible for everyone. More on that here

What can I bring that day? Are selfie sticks okay?

Sorry, folks, no selfie sticks allowed. The complete list of prohibited items is available here.

I have a ticket to the West Front broadcast. What time should I arrive?

Gates for the West Front will open at 5 am. The lawn is first come, first serve standing room for ticketed visitors.  So, bring your blanket and wear comfortable shoes.  We look forward to having you visit the Capitol.