NEW YORK – Pope Francis will offer a special blessing to a group of immigrants and refugees during his visit to New York City later this month, highlighting two contentious issues in American politics.
On Thursday, Catholic officials introduced some of the people who will be blessed by the pope during his Sept. 25 visit to Harlem.
The head of the city's Catholic Charities, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, says among them will be youngsters from violence-torn Central American countries who crossed the border alone.
Others include refugees seeking green cards, struggling American-born minorities and disabled immigrants.
Sullivan feels the meeting will be the pope's most important encounter in the U.S. It comes as questions intensify about inaction over Syria's civil war and Europe's migrant crisis.
Francis has urged wealthy countries to welcome immigrants.