President Barack Obama will invite prominent American religious figures, including many of his political allies, to attend the White House reception at which he greets Pope Francis on September 23.
Among the religious leaders invited for the event are Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual bishop in the Anglican communion; Sister Simone Campbell of “Nuns on the Bus;” Rev. Joel Hunter, the Florida megachurch leader; Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and a Catholic blogger, Aaaron Ledesma, who drew the attention of the White House by writing on his experience as a gay Catholic. The invited guests are unlikely to have a chance for a personal meeting with the Pontiff. They will be observers at a ceremony on the South Lawn.