Francis First Ever Capitol Hill Address By Pope (Video)

Francis First Ever Capitol Hill Address By Pope (Video)

Francis becomes the first ever Pope to address Capital Hill, taking on immigration, abortion, gay marriage and the Syrian refugee crisis as he insists on ‘Golden Rule’ approach to politics.

‘When the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past,’ the Roman Catholic pontiff said. ‘We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.’

2CB7B46600000578-3247609-image-a-16_1443104192210

The Daily Mail Reports:

Francis takes Congress to task on immigration, abortion, gay marriage and the Syrian refugee crisis as he insists on ‘Golden Rule’ approach to politics in first-ever Capitol Hill address by a sitting pontiff

  • Francis opens last day of Washington visit with rebuke of congressional Republicans over lack of compassion for immigrants and refugees
  • Papal visit comes amid rising tensions over immigration policies in Congress
  • At least one Republican is boycotting speech in protest
  • Francis lectures lawmakers about ‘defend[ing] human life at every stage of its development’ and ending the death penalty
  • Subtle jab at gay marriage: ‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without’

Pope Francis delivered a stinging blow to nativist conservatives bent on keeping illegal immigrants and Middle Eastern refugees out of the United States, saying Thursday in a landmark address to Congress that Americans should show compassion to immigrants of all stripes.

‘When the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past,’ the Roman Catholic pontiff said. ‘We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.’

He also dropped coded messages to conservatives about gay marriage and abortion, and made an impassioned plea for a left-leaning approach to capital punishment in an unprecedented visit to Capitol Hill by a sitting Pope.

‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without,’ Francis told a packed House chamber.

pope-wide_3451965k

‘Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family.’

And without mentioning abortion by name – or the name of the embattled domestic Planned Parenthood organization – Francis told lawmakers that the ‘Golden Rule … reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.’

Vice President Joe Biden, a Roman Catholic who co-presided over the Joint Session of Congress as the constitutionally appointed president of the U.S. Senate, caused a stir this week by declaring that he believes life begins at conception.

But it’s Francis’ comments about immigrants that will be most sharply felt as the U.S. deals with the twin crises of Syrian refugees and an immigrant invasion from Mexico and Central America, both of which the Obama administration has taken steps to pacify by loosening America’s borders as a show of compassion.

‘Thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones in search of greater opportunities’ in in North America, he said. ‘Is this not what we want for our own children?’

‘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. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.’ US Obama Pope Francis_Scip (2)

But he split the baby, Solomon-like, between combating ‘violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system’ on the one hand, and ‘safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms’ on the other. 

It’s no surprise that the Pope made a point to lecture Congress about the death penalty, a sticking point with the Church as it deals with governments the world over.

‘Society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes,’ he said Thursday.

‘Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.’

take our poll - story continues below

Who should replace Nikki Haley as our ambassador to the U.N.?

  • Who should replace Nikki Haley as our ambassador to the U.N.?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to Truth Uncensored updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Francis’s speech to a factitious Congress had many Republicans wary of a lecture, as the pope is a well-known advocate of efforts to battle air pollution and has embraced the Democratic Party’s traditional acceptance of global warming.

In a meeting with Obama on Wednesday, Francis had reportedly called Obama’s efforts to fight climate change ‘encouraging.’

Francis has also been an outspoken opponent of unbridled capitalism and has advocated forcefully for more income equality around the globe – stances which align him closely with the White House but which have been staunchly opposed by congressional Republicans.

Underscoring the tension over those and other issues, at least one House Republican, Paul Gosar, is boycotting the pope’s speech out of protest.

Francis arrived at the Capitol at 9:20 a.m., beginning his visit with a photo-op with House Speaker John Boehner that was only open to the press for about two minutes.

Boehner made a few awkward attempts at jokes, at one point saying he wanted to wear ‘a more conservative tie,’ than the green one he was wearing, at which point Francis signaled his approval of Boehner’s tie to soft laughter. An interpreter hovered between the two men.

2CB6BA3D00000578-3247609-image-a-2_1443103413793

The speech in the House of Representatives was attended by more than 500 senators and representatives and Supreme Court justices. As is customary for State of the Union speeches, Francis was flanked behind him by House Speaker John Boehner and Vice President Joe Biden, who first met Francis Tuesday at Andrews Air Force Base.

Francis’ speech comes on his last day of a three-day trip to Washington.

After touching down at Andrews Air Force Base from Cuba late Tuesday, the pontiff was greeted by a welcoming ceremony at the White House on Wednesday morning, followed by a private Oval Office visit with President Obama and an address at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in downtown D.C.

Following his congressional speech, Francis is scheduled to address a much smaller audience of about 200 people in the Catholic Charities organization, before leaving for Andrews Air Force Base and then to New York City.

The pontiff visits New York on Friday and Saturday – which will include an address to the United Nations on Friday – and then Philadelphia later on Saturday and Sunday.

He returns to Rome on Sunday from Philadelphia.

Photo:  Bing


 

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.