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First take

Could the Pope actually have a major effect on the presidential – and maybe congressional – races in 2016? Well, some effect at least. Pope Francis’ tour in the United States has been scheduled, and so has a September 24 address to a joint session of Congress. It will be the first time a pope has ever done that, and it will come at a time when the vice president, two-thirds of the Supreme Court and the House speaker, among many others, are Catholic. it also comes at a time when the current Pope has been delivering messages of particular import to American politics. – rs

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