Biden, Pelosi to Pope Francis’ inaugural mass

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Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, New Mexico Republican Gov. Susan Martinez and Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia will comprise the delegation lead by Vice President Joe Biden to Pope Francis’ inaugural mass.

The White House announced the all Catholic Presidential Delegation on Friday.

Biden and Pelosi’s pro-choice stances have rankled more conservative Catholics, who believe life begins at conception.

In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI reportedly encouraged then-Speaker Pelosi to protect life. Like his predecessor, Pope Francis is staunchly pro-life, and has referred to abortion as a “death sentence.”

In a statement Wednesday, Pelosi spoke highly of the new pope.

“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,” she said.

Boehner, who declined the President’s invitation to participate in the delegation to focus on his work in Washington, also announced a bipartisan House delegation to the Investiture of Pope Francis on Friday.

The House delegation will be lead by staunch pro-lifer New Jersey Republican Chris Smith. It will also include Conneticut Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Sean Duffy, California Democratic Rep., Anna Eshoo, Nebraska Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Texas Democratic Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Jim Langevin, Illinois Democratic Rep. Daniel Lipinski, and California Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

The House Chaplain Fr. Patrick Conroy, S.J. will also join the House group.

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