- Pope Francis Addresses Congress
- October 1, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
- On Thursday, for the first time ever, a Pope delivered a speech to a Joint Meeting of Congress. In his speech, Pope Francis discussed immigration, the death penalty, relations with Cuba, and other politically touchy issues.
On the question of immigration, the Pope said:
"We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.... We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome."
As the Obama administration considers increasing the number of refugees the U.S. is accepting from Syria, the Pope asked members to open their hearts and to keep an open mind.
Pope Francis did not shy away from the thorny issue of climate change:
"I call for a courageous and responsible effort to redirect our steps and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference, and I have no doubt that the United States - and this Congress - have an important role to play."
The Pope's visit to DC was a rare moment of bipartisanship, and his visit provided a little something for almost all on the political spectrum to cheer about.