Pope Francis will give 18 speeches in five days during his visit to the United States.
Of those 18 speeches, the Argentine will deliver four in English; he’ll deliver the rest in his native Spanish.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Tuesday that while Francis polished his English during recent trips to Asia, he finds it easier to express himself in Spanish.
Francis’ speech at the White House and his speech to Congress will be in English, as will two greetings to U.N. staff and benefactors in Philadelphia.
Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, a Harvard professor of Roman Catholic theological studies, says Pope Benedict spoke in English when he visited the U.S. in 2008, as did Pope John Paul II during his numerous visits.
Francis, who also speaks Italian and German, has said that English is the most difficult language for him.