Pomp and protocol await Pope Francis on White House visit

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.