Pope Francis became the first pope to address the U.S. Congress this morning (Sept. 24).
The New York Times reports that Francis discussed issues of family values, climate change, religious freedom, and immigration.
Although some Republicans seem to be at odds with the Pope’s ideology when it comes to climate change, his criticism of unbridled capitalism, or his admonishment to welcome immigrants, Republican Senator John Thune said that all Congressmen in attendance will strive to show him the utmost respect, according to Charisma News.
Addressing the issue of preserving family values, in his slow, cautious English Francis stated, “I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.”
The New York Times states that both sides--Democrats and Republicans--found things to agree and disagree with in the Pope’s address. In a time when Congress is extremely divided and even on the brink of a government shutdown, Francis’s remarks attempted to find middle ground.
Charisma News reports that a number of presidential candidates attended the Pope’s address, including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Ben Carson, and Bernie Sanders.
Following his Congressional address, the Pope will fly to New York City where he will attend evening prayer services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Publication date: September 24, 2015