Connecticut's Roman Catholic governor will welcome Pope Francis when he arrives at the White House this week.
"I have to tell you it’s pretty thrilling. I get to thinking, how often will I get invited to the White House by the president to meet the pope? It’s a little different," said Gov. Dannel Malloy.
He will also attend Mass.
"They made room for me," Malloy quipped.
Malloy, who was raised in the Catholic tradition and attended a Catholic college, said that he has noticed the church become more conservative over the years.
He said he likes what's he seen and heard from Francis.
"I read the documents he publishes. I follow his statements and his sermons. It’s an exciting time for Catholics internationally," he said.
On policy issues, Malloy said he thinks Connecticut lines up well with the pontiff and that the pope would look fondly upon his efforts to provide relief to one-time criminal offenders, through the Second Chance Initiative.
"I’m in alignment with the pope," Malloy said. "Or he’s in alignment with me, as is the president, but Connecticut’s leading there."
The pope has been vocal about climate change, urging advanced nations to do more to care for the environment. Malloy said the church has a partner in that movement.
"He’s talking about the nations that will be wiped away just on the warming of the environment and the additional tides that literally wipe nations away," he said.
Malloy said his priorities to expand housing for the people who need it or making sure Obamacare works in Connecticut are examples of his use of private sector resources to partner with government to help the most people. He said he aligns with the pope on those priorities.
"I believe in Capitalism. The pope believes in Capitalism. On the other hand it’s got to work for everybody, not just a precious few," he said.