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The Pope's visit to the U.S.

Pope Francis arrives in the United States on Tuesday amid raging partisan debates in Congress over abortion, immigration and climate change, giving him an extraordinary platform from which to influence — and roil — lawmakers of both parties.

The politics of the pope's visit, which includes a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, a speech before the U.N. General Assembly, and a first-ever papal address to Congress, will be further complicated by a presidential election in which matters of faith have featured prominently, and sharp lines have already been drawn over the Vatican's recent softer tone.

His two-year-old papacy has been defined so far by a change in tenor, not doctrine, watchers say. He sent shock waves through the church by responding in 2013 to a question about gay priests by asking, "Who am I to judge?" He has also been vocal on immigration, calling last year's surge of Central American children into the United States a "humanitarian emergency."

  • Catholics hope to build on pope's U.S. visit

    Catholics hope to build on pope's U.S. visit

    As Pope Francis prepares to leave the United States on Sunday, a teacher in Towson is giving her students a new assignment. Joan Carlson, campus minister at Notre Dame Preparatory School, wants her seniors to study and write about Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., monk Thomas Merton and...

  • Pope's environmental message inspires 'Climate in the Pulpit'

    Pope's environmental message inspires 'Climate in the Pulpit'

    At St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Annapolis, a small but dedicated "green team" is helping the congregation become more environmentally friendly. The members installed a rain garden to treat polluted stormwater runoff from the parking lot. Rain barrels are in the works to capture water from the...

  • Pope Francis urges unity in address to Congress

    Pope Francis urges unity in address to Congress

    Pope Francis urged the country to set aside partisan divisions and focus instead on hope and healing in a historic address to Congress on Thursday that briefly suspended political rancor in the nation's capital. Describing himself as the son of immigrants, the first pope from the New World offered...

  • Pope Francis blesses Gov. Hogan, cancer patients

    Pope Francis blesses Gov. Hogan, cancer patients

    Gov. Larry Hogan said he received a special blessing from Pope Francis Thursday on behalf of cancer patients.  "It couldn't come at a better time for me," Hogan, who completed his fifth round of chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma Tuesday, said in an interview. "I was getting thousands of prayers,...

  • Pope Francis goes to Washington

    Pope Francis goes to Washington

  • Pope Francis honors a saint

    Pope Francis honors a saint

    Pope Francis called Father Junipero Serra a defender of “the dignity of the native community,” as the first pope from the Americas canonized the 18th-century missionary known as the Apostle of California on Wednesday while he celebrated his first Mass in the United States.The ceremony to name a...

  • How The Sun covered past papal visits

    How The Sun covered past papal visits

  • Where's the pope? Tracking @Pontifex's every move

    Where's the pope? Tracking @Pontifex's every move

    Need to know where the pope is at any given time during his U.S. visit to Washington, New York and Philadelphia? This tracker, hosted at http://wheresthepope.us and updating @wheresthepope on Twitter, will tell you the whereabouts of Pope Francis at any given time.

  • American Airlines to carry Pope on US tour

    American Airlines to carry Pope on US tour

    When Pope Francis travels around the United States later this week, he will fly on an American Airlines jet that temporarily will be christened Shepherd One. American will take the Pope from Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where he...

  • Pope Francis' schedule for Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

    Pope Francis' schedule for Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

    Here's a look at Wednesday's schedule for Pope Francis' visit in Washington, D.C.: 9:15 a.m. Welcome ceremony and meeting with President Obama at the White House 11 a.m. Papal Parade along the Ellipse and the National Mall 11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew's...

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