Although Pope Francis’s first visit to the United States is still weeks away, the pontiff was present — on screen, at least — in a “virtual audience” Monday in Los Angeles, Chicago and near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The pope talked from the Vatican with a group of students from the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago; with the Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Tex.; and with a group of homeless men and women, along with those who work on homelessness issues in Los Angeles, according to ABC News. The audience, the network says, was moderated by “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and will air as a “20/20″ special Friday.
The special airs at 10 p.m. Sept. 4, and the network will also post the entire audience online in English and in Spanish, ABC said. The Holy See press office clarified in a statement to CNN that the audience was not an “interview” with ABC.
Daniel E. Flores, bishop of the Brownsville Catholic Diocese in Texas, tweeted that Pope Francis “spoke to immigrants, heard their stories and encouraged the work of so many who work at our Sacred Heart Respite Center.” Flores added: “The Holy Father also answered questions and asked us all to pray for him.”
Pope Francis will visit the U.S. Sept. 22-27, stopping in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York. The pope is expected to address immigration, poverty and homelessness during his trip, which will include stops at a Philadelphia prison, an East Harlem school and Catholic Charities in Washington, D.C.
[this post has been updated]
Stay up to date on the papal visit. Sign up here to follow Washington Post stories about Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S. and we’ll e-mail you as they’re published.