The procession through Manhattan was marked by some of the most stringent and comprehensive displays of security in the city’s history, as officials try to protect a highly popular pope who thrives on mingling with the faithful.
The Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, a devout Catholic, cried at several junctures as he flanked Francis. “Francis loved peace and that is how the name came to me”.
His humility, his identity as an Argentine, even his insistence on driving a fuel efficient fiat through the nation’s capital: these are some of the traits young Americans list off when explaining their infatuation with the South American pope. More than 25 percent of adult Catholics are foreign-born; another 15 percent have a parent who was foreign-born, and more of these foreign-born American Catholics are Latino than any other group.
Francis speaks to and for those who have not.
“The pope is so humble, and seeing him standing there in front of the government of our country, which needs such help, delivering that lovely message was very special”, said Soto.
Pope Francis then celebrated Mass before a cheering crowd of 80,000 people at Madison Square Garden.
The pontiff called for global vigilance against fundamentalism of all kinds, but warned a “delicate balance” must be struck between fighting extremists and preserving religious freedoms.
He told Congress that “no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism”.
The pope cautioned against simplistically breaking the world into camps of good and evil. “I confirm that many, many years ago he had an operation in which part of a lung was removed”, Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said in 2013. Yet I can not hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. “I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life”. He urged Congress and the captains of industry to “redirect our steps” to address “environmental degradation caused by human activity”.
My husband and I hope that with the money-management skills that we aim to impart, the men will be better equipped to change their economic condition and become productive citizens.
On another contentious subject, Francis advocated abolition of the death penalty in the USA, an idea that enjoys support from lawmakers of both parties at the federal level.
I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.
Politicians of all political backgrounds and religious affiliations eagerly welcomed the Pope, pledging to pause from the bickering and dysfunction that normally divide them. Outside, tens of thousands of spectators gathered on the West Lawn of the Capitol and beyond, and many more were watching on TV around the world. Heidi actually met with Pope Francis before in 2013.
On Tuesday afternoon, a pope from “the ends of the earth”, as Francis described himself when he was elected, set foot in the United States for the first time in his life. Francis also reached out to atheists, asking non-believers to wish him well. “You want to have clean air, you want to have clean water – that’s very important to me”.
For starters, she’s the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement.
Pope Francis counseled that “a good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism”. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. “The best thing we can all do is listen, open our hearts to his message and reflect on his example”.