Pope Francis highlights immigration, urges compassion in Congressional address

WASHINGTON, DC – Pope Francis became the first pontiff ever to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress.

And one of his main messages to US lawmakers — embrace immigrants.

In a 45-minute speech, the Pope said, “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.”

The Pope stressed that we should not be fearful of foreigners because most of us once were foreigners.

Pope Francis’ remarks on immigration come in the midst of Congress debating ways to address illegal immigration.

“I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descendants of immigrants,” he said.

During his speech to Congress, the Pope also called for action to combat climate change. He also reiterated his belief that the death penalty should be abolished. And he said that poverty can be solved by the creation and distribution of wealth.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was among the presidential candidates present on the Congress floor, said, “I think he came here today and touched on some very very important issues that a lot of people would prefer not to talk about. And that is the issue of poverty, of environmental degradation, immigration, the death penalty, and the need to do what we can to create a peaceful world. And I think he did it in a very dignified, nonpartisan type way.”

Fr. Geoffrey Baraan, parish priest of St. Anne’s Church in Union City, Calif., was the only Filipino invited to witness the Pope’s congressional address. He said it was a humbling and powerful experience to see the Pope speak in person before US lawmakers.

Fr. Baraan added that after witnessing the Pope come together with lawmakers, he believes that church and state can work together to affect change for the community.

“It can be a challenge, but it can be done,” he said. “The Holy Father said we need to have passion and compassion. I think that’s so important. He cited the challenge to break down the barriers of ignorance, of hatred, of an unwelcoming spirit. So I think it can be done, but it will be challenging.”


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4 Comments on this post.

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  • Mario
    25 September 2015 at 2:54 am - Reply

    I love my church, but if politics comes near the altar,it is very dangerous.Papacy is 2000 yrs old, you don’t know that there are evil Pope in the past,Pope John XII was the worse.Pope Francis is not a spiritual leader, he is a political operatives, hand pick by the Globalist to spread their leftist agenda.

  • Enigma
    25 September 2015 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    This pope, who is not in the same league as St. John Paul II, was obviously percolated in Argentine peronism growing up and was force-fed Marxist liberation theology in seminary, before entering the profession most innocent of any economic knowledge or sophistication.

    This climate change talk has adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into ‘climate justice’ and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies.

    If the pope stuck to standard Christian theology, I would be first in line. If the pope spoke out with moral authority against violent Islam, I would be cheering him on. If the pope urged the Western nations to rescue persecuted Christians in the Middle East, I would back him wholeheartedly. But when the pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politicians, then he can expect to be treated like one.

    25 September 2015 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Pope Francis main message to US Law makers was Embrace immigrants? And Pope Francis said many of you are descendants of immigrants. Ok I’ll say this in my way to the Pope Francis, your speech was wrong about Embrace immigrants? You should have said to Embrace all legal immigrants that is in America, and don’t Embrace illegal immigrants, and to throw them out of America? That was the right way to say it in your speech to the Law makers. And yes a lot of us came from descendants of immigrants that came to America the right way, yes Pope Francis the “RIGHT WAY” my dad came into America and he work just as hard as this illegal immigrants, but my dad came here to America the “RIGHT WAY.” So please think next time you say anything about this illegal immigrants. Yes I agree for all illegal immigrants can come to America “THE RIGHT WAY NOT THE WRONG WAY.” Please don’t broke the America law that we Americans has work so hard to make it right in America.

  • filam
    25 September 2015 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    This pope should stick to Gospel. AMERICA loves legal immigrants but not illegals
    A lot of illegals are criminals. Pedophiles. Murderers. Drug dealers and gang bangers

    Lead by example open the vatican

    No word on abortion, Christians murdered by ISIS