The Pope’s Visit to America, Agenda, Security. Contentious

Secretary of DHS, Jeh Johnson is taking the security architecture for the Pope personally.

DHS Support for the Visit of Pope Francis

Release Date:
September 18, 2015

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson has designated the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and New York as a National Special Security Event (NSSE) which allows for enhanced cooperation of local, state and federal partners in establishing a safe and secure environment.

The U.S. Secret Service serves as the lead federal law enforcement and coordinating agency for developing and implementing a comprehensive security plan for the Papal Visit. Interagency coordination is critical to security planning.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components providing security for the Papal Visit include the following:

  • U.S. Secret Service, in conjunction with federal, state and local partners, will support events with intelligence and counterterrorism assets, explosive device mitigation, dignitary and VIP protection, interagency communications, critical infrastructure, and airspace security.
  • The Transportation Security Administration will provide operational support including personnel, equipment and communications infrastructure. This includes Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) Teams and Transportation Security Officers across the National Capital Region, New York City and Philadelphia.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency serves as the lead federal agency for emergency and consequence management and will coordinate consequence management activities throughout the events to ensure a quick and coordinated response to protect public health and safety.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection will provide operational support including venue security, non-intrusive inspection, and communications support.
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations will provide personnel to support venue security and augment dignitary protection.
  • The U.S. Coast Guard will provide maritime security 24-hours a day during the 2015 World Meeting of Families and enforce fixed security zones.
  • The DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate will maintain support 24-hours a day through the National Infrastructure Coordinating Center and National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center as well as provide support through Federal Protective Service personnel.
  • The DHS Office of Health Affairs will staff the National Biosurveillance Integration Center and through the BioWatch Program Office will provide personnel, equipment and supplies to support field operations.
  • The DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office will provide radiological and nuclear alarm adjudication support as well as detection capability support.
  • DHS will continue to monitor for threats surrounding the Pope’s visit as well as provide in-person support during events through the Office of Intelligence and Analysis.
  • The Office of Operations Coordination will maintain situation situational awareness through the National Operations Center, and coordinate federal information sharing and reporting activities with federal, state, local, tribal, and private sector partners across the homeland security enterprise.

The Pope will be addressing a joint session of Congress, so it will be interesting to see who attends the event. Remember Nancy Pelosi has been declared by the Vatican court no longer eligible for communion due to her stance on abortion. But, the Vatican has taken on a forgiveness posture for abortion under Pope Francis, while many Bishops and Cardinals are in revolt. While the White House stands with Planned Parenthood and selling unborn baby parts, will the Pope even address the matter during his U.S. tour?

The White House created their own guest list for the Pope without asking the Vatican and the Vatican is NOT pleased.

DailyCaller: President Barack Obama has attracted attention for planning to meet Pope Francis in the White House with a motley assortment of dissenting Catholics and others opposed to Catholic doctrine. Now, the Vatican is signaling that it isn’t happy.

Pope Francis is scheduled to meet Obama on the South Lawn of the White House next Wednesday, Sept. 23. Among those invited by Obama to meet Francis are Gene Robinson, the first gay Episcopal bishop in the U.S., Mateo Williamson, the transgender head of the LGBT Catholic group Dignity USA, and Sister Simone Campbell, a nun who lobbied for Obamacare’s passage despite the fact that it funds abortions and compels Catholic institutions to provide birth control for employees.

While the Vatican hasn’t publicly complained about the guest lineup, an anonymous Vatican official has told The Wall Street Journal they are not happy. According to the official, the Vatican fears Obama is attempting to lure Francis into a photo op where him being photographed next to these activists will be interpreted as an endorsement of their activities, and a repudiation of longstanding Catholic doctrine. This concern is heightened, the official said, because Obama doesn’t appear to have invited anybody to the White House from the U.S. anti-abortion movement, which has very close ties to the Catholic Church. If Obama really is planning to trap Francis with a photo op, it wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened to Francis. In July, Francis was caught off-guard on a visit to Bolivia when president Evo Morales presented him with a Communist-themed crucifix. Overall, though, the Obama administration has been trying to emphasize the ways it agrees with the Vatican, rather than the social issues like abortion where they diverge sharply. Vice President Joe Biden (who is Catholic) says he’s read all of Francis’s recent encyclical on climate change, and Francis’s visit to a Philadelphia prison could bolster Obama’s own push for criminal justice reform.

But friction may be inevitable, especially if the pope feels put off by Obama’s guest list in the White House. He plans to speak on the topic of religious liberty during his visit to Philadelphia, which may provide an opportunity to condemn Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has downplayed the importance of individual guests, telling reporters Thursday that there will be “15,000 other people” at the event.


It is expected for Pope Francis to address the migrant crisis not only in Europe but to pressure the United States to take in more, perhaps hundreds of thousands more.

Pope Francis has been very vocal in encouraging the Catholic community to help migrants fleeing the Middle East. It is expected he will take the opportunity to encourage the United States, during his speech in the joint session of the Congress. He is expected to encourage the U.S. to take greater steps in absorbing more migrants from around the world, giving them the benefits from America’s immigration program including food, shelter, medication, education and several other benefits.

“Vatican officials say Pope Francis will focus heavily on immigration during his visit. ‘The Pope obviously has a very soft spot in his heart for immigrants,’ said one Holy See insider. ‘He won’t say, ‘open all borders,’ but there’s no two ways about it, he will say, ‘let’s give our immigrant brothers and sisters a fair chance,'” reported Breitbart.

The United States however has already accepted more migrants than Argentina, the home of the Pope. The U.S. has the highest foreign-born population in all of the largest countries in the world, according to Breitbart.

The population of the U.S. takes up only 5 percent of the World Population. In this 5 percent, a total of 20 percent are migrants from different countries.

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