Pomp and protocol await Pope Francis on White House visit

In this photo taken March 27, 2014, President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Pope Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the White House next month will put on display his common cause with President Barack Obama on many issues. When he swept into office in 2008, Obama captured near rock-star status among millions who saw him as the embodiment of a new sense of social purpose. Now, that baton has largely passed to the outspoken Francis. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
In this photo taken March 27, 2014, President Barack Obama meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican. Pope Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the White House next month will put on display his common cause with President Barack Obama on many issues. When he swept into office in 2008, Obama captured near rock-star status among millions who saw him as the embodiment of a new sense of social purpose. Now, that baton has largely passed to the outspoken Francis. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) – When Pope Francis arrives on his first-ever U.S. visit, he’ll get an airport welcome few world leaders ever receive: a plane-side greeting from President Barack Obama.

The extraordinary gesture on Sept. 22 will mark the beginning of the pomp and pageantry that Washington will put on display to welcome the popular leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

The next day, on Sept. 23, Francis will become just the third pope to visit the White House. He and Obama will meet privately in the Oval Office.

Francis is scheduled to arrive in Washington following stops in Cuba.

In Washington, he also will address a joint meeting of Congress, the first pope to do so.

Francis plans to visit New York and Philadelphia before returning to the Vatican.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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