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(WASHINGTON) — Pope Francis made an unscheduled stop to meet with the Little Sisters of the Poor as a “sign of support” for their opposition against a federal contraception mandate.

At a press briefing on the Pope’s activities, Father Federico Lombardi, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed the unscheduled visit.

When pressed about abortion, Lombardi said “I can only stress that the Pope in the speech to the bishops has a very strong point about life, encouraging the bishops to act and have a clear position in favor of life.”

Father Lombardi also gave an update of the Pope’s first full day in the United States saying, “this the first time he was here [in the U.S.] but it was also a good beginning…what was also a good beginning was his English.”

On Wednesday, the pope met with President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Holy See Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin.

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