Pope Francis delivers Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, on September 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO

Pope Francis delivers Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, on September 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO

Wait. What just happened?

The Alitalia jet has lifted off, the emoji pope pictures have been put away, the fan-girl nuns have all gone home and the starry-eyed masses have left the streets of Philadelphia.

We are now once again living in a United States of America with no Pope Francis in it.

So, what just happened? What were supposed to take from that?

I think John Boehner knows.

The U.S. House Speaker usually avoids reporters. He didn’t the night of the Pope’s visit. Political journalist Robert Costa tells the story of how the Speaker saw him standing near the Capitol rotunda and accosted him.

He insisted on repeating every detail of his encounter with Pope Francis that day, acting it out, casting Costa as Boehner. (“’Hold on, hold on,’ he said as I pulled my arm away. ‘Let me finish!’”)

“The pope says to me, ‘Please pray for me. Please pray for me,” Boehner kept repeating, in a kind of shock. “He said, ‘Please pray for me.’ ”

Boehner, a Catholic, was unable to move past that moment. Or he was unable to stop moving because of it. He resigned the next morning.

Read more at Aleteia.org…

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