Biden, Pelosi Lead White House Delegation To Pope Francis' Inaugural Mass

The White House announced on Friday that Vice President Joe Biden and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will represent President Obama at the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis on Tuesday. Georgetown University President Dr. John J. DeGioia and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) will also be part of the White House delegation.

Heading the U.S. House delegation will be Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), a Catholic member of the Pro-Life congressional caucus.

In addition, CT Mirror reports that Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) will be joining the bipartisan group of House members, six Democrats and three Republicans, representing the nation. Speaker John Boehner, a Catholic, declined to attend Pope Francis’ inaugural Mass due to work obligations.

Biden, Pelosi, and DeLauro are all Catholics who support pro-abortion legislation.

On Wednesday, Pelosi said, “Whether named for St. Francis of Assisi, who cared for all of God’s creation, or St. Francis Xavier, who brought the faith to Asia, Pope Francis has been, and will be, a moral force to protect the poor and advance the faith.”

DeLauro said that she is “honored and privileged to be attending the inauguration of Pope Francis I and look forward to bringing the prayers and warm wishes of American Catholics, especially from Connecticut, for this historic occasion.”

DeGioia was at the center of controversy in May of last year following an invitation by Georgetown, a Jesuit-founded university, to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to deliver a commencement address.

As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air reported, DeGioia defended his decision not to rescind the invitation to Sebelius, who put forward the HHS mandate provision of ObamaCare, by claiming that the university’s invitation was offered prior to the announcement of the mandate that has been staunchly opposed by the Catholic bishops of the United States.

DeGioia said:

We are a university, committed to the free exchange of ideas. We are a community that draws inspiration from a religious tradition that provides us with an intellectual, moral, and spiritual foundation. By engaging these values we become the University we are meant to be.

In his speech at the March for Life in Washington in January, Rep. Smith directly challenged President Obama, as a leader who “systematically and aggressively promotes abortion at home and overseas,” with his statement, “All people are created equal. And our journey is not complete until all children--including the child in the womb--are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”

In 2007, Pope Francis, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, referred to abortion as a “death sentence” for the unborn. Last year, the former cardinal from Buenos Aires, said:

Abortion is never a solution. We listen, support and understanding from our place to save two lives: respect the human being small and helpless, they can take steps to preserve your life, allow birth and then be creative in the search for ways to bring it to its full development.


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