Washington, DC - President Barack Obama: "As he marks his 80th birthday tomorrow, I join the American people in extending our best wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis. In both word and deed, Pope Francis has inspired people around the world with his message of compassion, hope, and peace. He has called on us to see ourselves in one another, reach out to those who are at the margins of society, extend mercy, and care for the planet we all share. It was my great honor to welcome His Holiness to the White House last year and to work together on common causes. I remain especially grateful for his invaluable support for our work to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, which I announced on December 17 two years ago.
"Guided by his humble example, may the people of the world move forward together toward true justice and peace for all God’s children."