President Obama’s speech at Pope Francis’ White House visit touched on the prescient issues of the day
President Obama gave Pope Francis a very well attended ceremony at the White House. Over 20,000 people attended.
After the National Anthems of the United Sates and the Vatican were played, the two leaders gave speeches on some very prescient issues.
After welcoming Pope Francis to the White House and the United States of America, President Obama noted that this Pope was the first from the Americas and the first Pope to share an encyclical via Twitter.
President Obama thanked the Pope for his hospitality in the Vatican and his support for the establishment of relations with Cuba.
Most importantly President Obama exalted the Pope for his message. “You call on all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to put the least of these at the center of our concerns,” President Obama said. “You remind us that in the eyes of God our measures as individuals and our measure as society is not determined by wealth or power or station or celebrity, but by how well we hue to scripture’s call to lift up the poor and the marginalized. To stand up for justice and against inequality. And to ensure that every human being is able to live in dignity because we are all made in the image of God.”
President Obama then went on to say that Pope Francis reminded all that the Lord’s most powerful message is mercy and that one must welcome the stranger with empathy and an open heart. He then framed that in a refugee and immigrant narrative. One hopes America’s intolerant anti-immigrant folks were listening. The President also spoke about the Pontiff’s environmental stance.
Altogether it was a substantive speech that used the Pope’s rather progressive slant to frame many ideals effected or being attempted by the Obama administration. Pope Francis’ speech followed the president. Both speeches were political in a very nonpolitical delivery style.
Watch the entire ceremony here.