Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer talks about attending White House ceremony for Pope Francis
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer was among the thousands at the White House who greeted the Pope.
Fischer says mayors from across the country were invited.
"I attended with two folks. One was Jewish another one was Mormon, I'm the Catholic guy in the group, so Pope Francis obviously appeals to people from all over the world," Fischer said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Archbishop of Louisville Joseph Kurtz is also in Washington.
We're told he's spending the entire week with Pope Francis. He shook hands with the pope right after he touched down in the U.S.
People lined the streets of D.C. to get a glimpse of Pope Francis.
He arrived at the White House in a Fiat and was greeted by President Obama and the First Lady.
"Holy Father, on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House," Obama said.
"The President is not used to being the Number Two person," Fischer said. "Everybody is interested in Pope Francis, so I thought the President gave a heartfelt speech. You can tell that they're soulmates on many of the things that they believe in. Then you had the Pope get up in his very simple and humble way speak with great depth to some of the serious issues – both human issues around marginalized folks, tolerance, compassion, a lot of the secular ethics we talk about in Louisville."
Pope Francis also touched on some hot button issues - like climate change.
"It seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation," the pope said.
Fischer says the ceremony reminded him of something that happened in Louisville last week.
"In a strange way, the feeling there today with 15,000 or 20,000 people was very similar to the feeling at the Islamic Center on River Road last Friday," he said. "People just kind of wanted to be there to share in a moment of love and solidarity."
In an open popemobile, the pope waved to the crowds and even stopped to kiss babies as he left the White House.
He went to on to the Cathedral of St. Matthew for prayers.
He's become known as the people's pope and he certainly seems to be making an impression on people in the U.S.
Pope Francis will meet with Congress and several Catholic charities on Thursday. He's also visiting New York and Philadelphia during his stay in the U.S.
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