Pope Francis’ U.N. address comes on the foundation of his predecessors

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September 14, 2015

Pope Paul VI's address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York City in 1965 is depicted in a stained-glass window at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, N.Y. Oct. 4 will mark the 50th anniversary of the historic speech. Pope Francis will address the General Assembly Sept. 25. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) See PAPALTRIP-UN-ADDRESS Sept. 14, 2015.

Pope Paul VI’s address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York City in 1965 is depicted in a stained-glass window at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, N.Y. Oct. 4 will mark the 50th anniversary of the historic speech. Pope Francis will address the General Assembly Sept. 25. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis’ address to the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 25 will mark the fifth papal speech delivered directly to representatives of the world’s governments.

His address will come almost 50 years to the day — Oct. 4, 1965 — when Blessed Paul VI became the first pontiff to speak to the General Assembly in what has become a hallmark of recent papal history.

While the exact content of Pope Francis’ message will not be revealed until he delivers his address, it’s almost assured that topics revolving around human dignity that form the foundation of the Christian life — concern for poor and marginalized people, migrants seeking security, care for the environment — will be prominent themes in his speech.

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