"Today I send greetings to fellow Catholics and people everywhere celebrating the installation of Pope Francis. It is such a blessing to see this gracious and faithful servant of God become the leader of our church.
"Making this day even more special is that Pope Francis is the first Holy Father ever to hail from the Americas. This, of course, is a milestone in world history and an event of monumental significance to the millions of Americans who share in the Catholic faith.
"So I'm pleased that a delegation of my colleagues has joined the Vice President at the Vatican to share warm wishes on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives and the American people. I also offer congratulations to Pope Francis and pray that God will grant him strength, good health, and wisdom."
NOTE: On Friday, Speaker Boehner announced that he was sending a bipartisan congressional delegation to the Vatican for the investiture for Pope Francis. The delegation, led by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), includes Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX), Jim Langevin (D-RI), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).