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Md. Gov. Hogan to have semi-private meeting with Pope Francis

Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to have a semi-private meeting with Pope Francis in Washington D.C. Thursday afternoon, Hogan's office confirmed Wednesday.

A Hogan spokesman said the governor will meet the pontiff in a small gathering alongside the Chatholic Charities of Washington, D.C.

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Hogan, who is Catholic, returned home to the governor's mansion Tuesday after five days of chemotherapy. It was the fifth of six courses to treat his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that doctors diagnosed earlier this summer.

Late Tuesday, Hogan posted to his Facebook page a welcome for Pope Francis, and said he planned to "seek prayers and his blessing for cancer patients everywhere."

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This is the pope's first visit to the United States since he was elevated to the post in March 2013 and follows a visit to Cuba.

Pope Francis has drawn a following both in and outside the church for his comments on gay marriage, climate change and income inequality. He has also faced backlash from conservative segments of the church.

Hogan spokesman Matthew A. Clark said the governor's meeting with Pope Francis would be closed to the press. Clark said the pope is scheduled to bless a chapel Thursday afternoon.

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