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September 24, 2015 11:40 AM

It’s a big day for both popes in Washington, D.C.: Catholic leader Pope Francis, who began his first visit to the United States in the capital, and the fictional political fixer Olivia Pope, who Gladiators will find freshly moved into the White House when Scandal returns.

In honor of #TGIT and his holiness’ American road trip, star Kerry Washington has a confession to make.

“I think my celebrity crush is this pope,” the actress joked on Live! with Kelly and Michael on Thursday morning. “I always get that question and I never want to say anybody, because then you see him at a party. I figure I won’t see the pope at a party.”

On a more serious note, Washington, 38, said she truly admires the pontiff, who has made headlines with his more liberal views on social issues.

“I think he’s so special. I think he’s so humble and so focused on service – just really focused on doing good in the world,” Washington said. “Not being judgmental. Letting God be the judge.”

“As opposed to the ‘Pope’ I play, who makes you not so close to God,” she added wryly. “She’s used to scandals. ”

Scandal airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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