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Pope Francis visit: 5 highlights from Wednesday

President Barack Obama talks with Pope Francis in

President Barack Obama talks with Pope Francis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. Credit: AP / Tony Gentile

He said addressing climate change "can no longer be left to a future generation," encouraged his bishops to "dialogue fearlessly," spent time with President Barack Obama in the White House and kissed a baby.

All that in a single day for Pope Francis -- who, at 78, is keeping up a pace on his trip through Cuba and the United States that those half his age might envy.

Here are five things to know about the pope's Wednesday. App users can see the related stories by tapping on the first link below.

1) The day began on the South Lawn of the White House, where President Barack Obama welcomed Pope Francis in a ceremony before 11,000 ticketed guests. The pope, who was born in Argentina in 1936 to Italian parents, connected himself with this country through a most American theme -- immigration.

"As the son of an immigrant family," he said, "I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families."

Read William Murphy and Bart Jones' full story, which includes Francis' comments on why the problem of climate change cannot be put off.

2) When the two leaders went into the Oval Office, Newsday reporter Bart Jones was there to witness -- briefly -- the moment.

Read his account of the frenzied atmosphere in a room that seemed "amazingly small" in his latest behind-the-scenes dispatch for Travels With the Pope.

3) From there the pontiff set out onto the streets of Washington, passing by tens of thousands gathered to see him in his popemobile. Though he was heavily guarded and protected by bulletproof glass, the "people's pope" stopped to touch a few people along the route -- including a baby he kissed.

Olivia Winslow and Alfonso A. Castillo have the details.

4) The pontiff ultimately arrived at his destination in another vehicle -- his customary Fiat sedan -- for a special prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. His message to about 300 American bishops was clear: "Dialogue is our method."

Author Paul Moses explains how dialogue has been a key aspect of Francis' papacy in his latest piece of insights In Francis' Footsteps.

5) Pope Francis' last event of the day was a historic first -- the canonization of a saint, which had never happened before in this country. In the Mass, the pope elevated to sainthood Junípero Serra, who founded nine of the 21 missions along the Pacific coast, Victor Manuel Ramos and Ellen Yan report.

They explain why critics opposed the move, which was held up for decades.

Coming on Thursday: Francis makes history in Congress.


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