Thousands Await Pope Outside White House

Thousands of people either camped out all night or arrived outside the White House in this morning’s predawn hours in advance of the arrival of Pope Francis. Reuters reports on today’s events:

Pope Francis and President Barack Obama are set to hold private talks at the White House on Wednesday before the pontiff parades through streets of Washington on the first full day of his first visit to the United States. Francis and Obama see eye-to-eye on some issues like climate change and defense of the poor but are at odds over abortion and gay marriage. Still, the meeting is expected to be friendly, particularly given the pope’s role in mediating last year’s resumption of diplomatic ties between Washington and Cuba after a chill that lasted more than half a century. The 78-year-old Argentine pope closes out his day with a Mass at the one of the most important Roman Catholic churches in the United States, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. There, he will canonize 18th century Spanish missionary Friar Junipero Serra over the objections of critics who say that Serra suppressed Native American cultures in what is now California.

Tomorrow Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress in the first-ever such papal event.

  • Wynter Marie Starr

    I can’t think of one person on the face of the planet that would seduce me into braving a crowd that large.

    • Cousin Bleh

      Morgan Black?

      • Wynter Marie Starr

        No one, living or dead. The only person I might consider going into a large crowd for would be Cleopatra VII.

    • Todd20036

      So, no White Party for you?

      • 2karmanot

        I remember the White Party!

    • Bj Lincoln

      There was 50,000 at the National March 5 years ago and it was so exciting to be part of such a huge crowd who were all there for the same reason. But then we were all there to support equality, not a backward religion that is full of scandal and division.

      • Wynter Marie Starr

        I’m sure it was exciting. But, I have difficulty in large crowds. And due to some RL problems over the last several years, I’ve had several panic attacks in large stores that I couldn’t easily find my way out of. If you stuck me in such a large crowd, I think I’d be taken out of the crowd strapped to a stretcher.

        • Bj Lincoln

          I understand. I still do that on occasion. I have days when I can’t leave the house because it is too much to deal with people. Summer is especially hard as I am covered in tattoos and people stare. In the winter, I can cover up and blend in so I am more comfortable but then people get confused about my gender more often. I was mentally prepared and the event was outside. I did have to walk to a less dense area and just enjoy the view a few times.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            Ugh, people are so damn rude.

            I trace my claustrophobia to my evangelical relative. She used to hover over my prone body when I was a child and I felt totally trapped and terrified. Now that I think about it, that bitch harmed me in a lot of different ways.

        • txscotty39

          I can’t even imagine being in a crowd that large. The only times I leave my apt. are to go food shopping and get my mail. I was terrified of crowds when I was a child, and still am to this day……at age 76. Just not for me.

          • Wynter Marie Starr

            I’m so sorry. I do fine except in large, emotional crowds and in stores with no clear exits and no windows. I have a very close friend who was agoraphobic for a time. She was able to overcome it with anti anxiety meds and therapy. (and a lot of hard work)

            I’m even okay on trains although I don’t love them. Have you tried going places very early or late? That might be of some help, especially if you have a supportive friend with you.

  • Gustav2

    I am so glad I get the BBC. Very little A-pope-calypse coverage.

    • Gustav2


      Oh dear, now the Beeb is full of pope.

      • Christopher

        Yeah, I had the same reaction while watching SkyNews. 🙁

        I don’t give a flying fuck about the Pope!

        “Stop forcing your religion upon me!”

  • Baron Ochs

    Nothing to do with the Pope, but I sense that some sort of unknown event is brewing in the USA.

  • Cousin Bleh

    Papal event sounds like something you have done by a gastroenterologist.

    • Ed Burrow

      reminds me of a joke…
      what do you get when you cross a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and Smirnoff vodka?
      a Pap-smir.

  • oikos

    Waste of time to hear the head of the child rapers tell the rest of us how we should live our lives.

  • bdsmjack

    Pope? What a drag.

  • If the papal event makes the extreme right crazy and gives Obama a chance to showboat I’m happy enough to go along with it.

    I’ve become a reactionary: wingnut screaming is like birdsong to me now. All I want is to drive them before me and hear the lamentations of their women.

    • barracks9

      I’ve been secretly delighting in the very public frustration of my CPAC-loving Tea Party coworker. He’s a very smart man, and for the life of me – other than his Mississippi upbringing – I can’t understand his political affiliation. Earlier this year, he’d assured us all we were looking at future President Walker. He’s beside himself this week over Scott Walker dropping out.

      His new cause? He assures us that Fiorina will be on the GOP ticket. I walked away, closed my office door and had myself a Grand Old Laugh!

  • Ginger Snap

    Thousands of brainwashed zombies show up to worship their child rapist enabler. They go to help fill his coffers so he can spread his lies to create more zombie followers.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Well, wish me luck! Heading out to work on foot. I’m a block off the National Mall.

    • Ginger Snap

      Good luck and happy traveling. Please beware of the blood thirsty and money hungry zombie followers.

    • Todd20036

      I work at 12 and K. Traffic is light. No problems walking there.

  • Sam_Handwich
  • delk

    OMG! I saw a tiny white speck!

  • Puckfair52

    An etiquette question is it appropriate to check Grinder in such a crowd

    • BobSF_94117

      Make sure your battery is fully charged if you’re anywhere near the front and close to the official delegation.

  • bkmn

    Now would be the time to roll out the pay port-a-potties.

  • Jan Wesselius

    Presents are usually exchanged between heads of state. Is there any truth to the rumor that Obama is giving the Pope a prayer rug? (OK, it’s a joke already).

    • joe ho

      no. he’s giving him a copy of dawkins’ the god delusion.

      • Jan Wesselius

        That would be the gift from the Pope?

        • Schlukitz

          Good catch.

    • Arkansan

      You can’t go wrong with Pope on a rope.

      • Schlukitz

        The nice thing about pope on a rope is that it dissolves quickly and winds up going down the drain.

        Not so much with the real McCoy. 🙁

  • BeaverTales

    Where is the editorial staff of The Advocate to hand him his NoH8 Gay Freedom&#153 award?

  • Dale Paris

    Any person that can think for themselves does not need a pope…

  • JaniceInToronto

    That is just fuckin’ sad.

  • The Sentinel


  • justmeeeee

    what kind of an idiot……????

    • justmeeeee

      the same kind that lines up for new apple products?

      • Schlukitz

        The main difference being that technology does have something tangible and useful to offer it’s adherents for the extraordinary amounts money that they both exact from you.

    • Schlukitz
  • MikeBx2

    People want so badly to believe in the super natural. That there’s some hocus-pocus in seeing, waving, maybe even touching the Pope. If it brings them some comfort or joy, then I’m happy for them. I don’t get it, but I guess I don’t need to.

  • CottonBlimp

    I still have trouble grasping how so many could be so stupid.

  • Schlukitz

    “before the pontiff parades through streets of Washington”

    More like flaunts himself.

  • Guest

    Wow, how was that not considered a security risk and all of them carted off to jail? Especially that it’s the White House of all places?