: Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. ", Some of his strongest words to Congress were in defense of immigrants. He also had clearly done his homework in studying America, which he called “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”, He studied our founding documents, especially the Declaration of Independence, which is our most faith-based document. Whatever the case, he has put these issues on the national and world agenda so that they have to be discussed. Pope Francis challenged Congress and the American people on immigration, refugees, poverty, and the environment, but rather than scolding us, …
He also called on the United Nations "to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the non-proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons. Fourth, Pope Francis can speak … The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.”, Francis also said that the Golden Rule applied to “our responsibility to protect and defend life at every stage of its development,” which was applauded by Republican members of Congress because it was heard as a condemnation of abortion. During his visit, especially in his talk to Congress, he confounded all his critics. But Francis immediately pivoted and declared that this conviction had led him to advocate “the global abolition of the death penalty” and said “that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.”. Playing on the opening words of the U.S. Constitution, he said to Congress, “We, the people of this continent, are not afraid of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners.”, He personalized this by mentioning that he himself is the son of immigrants and pointing out that “you are also descended from immigrants.”, He also spoke of refugee crisis, not just in Europe, but also the thousands of persons who on this continent “travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities.”, He made no distinction between political and economic refugees, but rather asked, “Is this not what we want for our children?” Despite the great numbers, he asked that we “view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.”, To much applause, he quoted the Golden Rule to Congress: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” For Francis, the lesson is clear: “Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated.
Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”, He continued to hammer home the implications of the Golden Rule: “if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism.”. For example, those who would never listen to Al Gore, Hilary Clinton, or Barack Obama on climate change, may be willing to listen to Pope Francis. Lead 7 Surprising Traits That Make the Pope So Popular Two years have passed since Pope Francis became the leader of the world's Catholics, and he's as popular as ever. “This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility.
Although he was talking about world divisions, his words also could apply to partisan divisions in our country. This distinction makes Pope Francis just like Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. ", Pope Francis had words of praise for diplomacy. Editor's note: We can send you an email alert every time Thomas Reese's column, Faith and Justice, is posted. On the other hand, because he is so loved and respected, even those who disagree with him may be willing to take another look at the issues he raised. “Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.” At the White House, he went so far as to practically endorse President Obama’s “initiative for reducing air pollution.”, Francis emphasized “that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation.” And at the United Nations he stressed that any harm done to the environment is harm done to humanity. Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR. He reached out with love and warmth to young and old, to everyone with whom he came into contact. Go to this page and follow directions: Email alert sign-up. Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Thomas Reese is a senior analyst for NCR and author of Inside the Vatican: The Politics and Organization of the Catholic Church.
[Jesuit Fr. There was no talk of the "unfettered pursuit of money" being the "dung of the devil," but he still made his points clearly. (CNS photo/Paul Haring). In his words to the group, the Pope spoke about the formation of good confessors, focusing on three characteristics which should guide their work. The three were all teachers. And yet, the pope and the Donald share a …
Man can “use creation for the good of his fellow men and for the glory of the Creator; he is not authorized to abuse it, much less to destroy it.”, Some of the pope’s most inflammatory words were directed toward the arms trade, which sells “deadly weapons … to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society.” This is being done “simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. Copyright © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company | 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64111 | 1-800-444-8910, Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Sept. 24. Congress applauded these words, but since the United States is the largest arms seller in the world, it is unlikely to do much about it. It is hoped that people will be moved by his words and actions, but there is a danger that our partisan biases will filter out what we do not like. Nor did Francis hold his fire on environmental issues, which he brought up at the White House, Congress and the United Nations. While in the United States, Pope Francis exercised his prophetic office by comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, but he did it with a soft and respectful voice. Pope Francis’ visit boosted the church. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes.”, Knowing his audience, he spoke with a softer voice than he has elsewhere. Pope Francis challenged Congress and the American people on immigration, refugees, poverty, and the environment, but rather than scolding us, he urged us to fulfill our highest ideals and values as a nation. : Become a Member Today! Pope Francis: three characteristics of a good confessor (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Friday with participants at an annual course on the internal forum, organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary. He urged Congress to courageous and responsible action “to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity,” which could not have pleased climate change skeptics. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”.
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