“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 as we can to their situation”, Francis urged.
Pope Francis made several remarks pertaining to illegal immigrants and called on Congress to open its arms to them.
His speech, held in the House of Representatives and before a joint session of Congress, could serve as a deluge in a drought. He says the Pope’s visit to America is very personal for him.
It’s a speech that spotlighted the Pope’s political persona as the anti-Trump, the antithesis of the GOP front-runner – especially the billionaire’s insistence on amassing military might, deporting illegal immigrants and a building wall between the United States and Mexico.
This morning, Pope Francis was the first sitting pope to address the U.S. Congress. He delivered a strong message to USA elected officials and people across the country. I’m sure he’s going to look at it as “hey I have a winning game plan, it’s working,”‘ community activist Jim Salinas said.
The pope also touched on issues related to war, poverty, nuclear proliferation and human exploitation, calling on world leaders to commit themselves to enacting concrete measures to work toward the greater good, and fight on behalf of the world’s most disadvantaged.
The Secret Service tried to hold the little girl, Sophie Cruz, back, but the pope beckoned her over, and blessed her in front of thousands of cheering onlookers. “He challenged us to rescue our planet from the climate crisis that threatens the future of our children and the health of God’s creation – and to do so sensitive to the needs of the poor”. “Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves”.
He applied that to immigration and in welcoming Syrian refugees, saying Americans aren’t fearful of foreigners because many were foreigners at some point.
“When he mentioned the Golden Rule, before he could even get it out, everyone was standing in the chambers, and I know the people with whom we were viewing the speech today, all of us reacted as well”, he said.
“The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us”, he said Thursday.