Pope Francis gave a compelling speech at the White House
Pope Francis touched on all the points he has been speaking about over the years. Pope Francis made a political statement within his first few sentences.
“As a son of immigrants I am happy to be a guest in this country which was lastly built by such families,” Pope Francis said. “I look forward to these days of encounter and dialogue in which I hope to listen and share many of the hopes and dreams of the American people.”
The Pope said that while addressing Congress he hopes, as a brother, to offer words of encouragement to guide the nation’s political future in fidelity to its founding principles. He said that American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities. They reject every form of injustice and discrimination.
The pontiff spoke about the support for religious liberty. He exalted America’s most precious possession, freedom. He also stated all most always be done to preserve that freedom as he looked at the president.
Pope Francis commended President Obama on his initiative to reduce pollution. He said climate change is a problem that can no longer be left to the next generation.
The Pope invoked Martin Luther King when addresses inequality in America and throughout the world. “To use a telling phrase of the Reverend Martin Luther King we can say that we have ‘defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it’.
The Pope ended his speech with a perfectly nonpolitical but politically strong and important statement. “I would like all men and women of goodwill in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world,” Pope Francis said. “And to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development so that our brothers and sister everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which God wish for all his children.”
That one statement evokes an admonition for economic justice and social justice. President Obama’s speech preceded the Pope and touched on similar topics.
Watch the entire ceremony here.