Local Catholics excited for Pope Francis' visit to U.S.

VIDEO: Local Catholics excited for Pope Francis' visit to U.S.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - There's a lot of excitement among Catholics in the lowcountry about Pope Francis' first visit to the United States. He will arrive in Washington D.C. for the start of his three-city stop.

Charlie McKinney says, "He's such a people's person, a people's Pope."

McKinney along with other Catholics who attended mass, at Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in downtown Charleston, are ready for the Pope to step foot on American ground.

"He's been making a lot of impact, and I've been watching him over the whole weekend and I'll keep on watching him," says Oyema Ozieh.

While in Washington D.C., Pope Francis will be the first to address Congress.

"I was very surprised that the politicians will allow the Pope to let them into their chambers, but it says more about him that they do," says McKinney.

The Pope plans to talk about immigration, climate change and criminal justice reform during his visit. He will also travel to New York to visit the United Nations and Philadelphia where he will meet with religious leaders.

"He's got a lot of great progressive ideas about society, about the roles of different disenfranchised minorities and about women," says Scott Andrews.

Andrews is visiting Charleston for a few days from Philadelphia. He'll be home later this week, in time to attend one of the Pope's events.

"They're estimating the population of the city will double," says Andrews. "It's a million and half people right now, so they're expecting three million."

Scott is interested in how Republicans will respond to the Pope's message.

"They have a Catholic base and I think a lot of the Pope's ideas conflict with some of the traditional Republican values," says Andrews. "So I think it really presents a conundrum."

He's curious about the Democrat's response too.

"They don't necessarily identify as Catholic with a lot of instances, but a lot of his ideas sort of jell with the democratic platform," says Andrews.

"I think it's going to be a strong impact to everyone here, I believe he has a message for us," says Ozieh.

Pope Franics' address to Congress will broadcast live on the Capitol's West Front. This speech will be one of four he will hold in English.