John Boehner Cries as Pope Francis Addresses a Joint Congress For the First Time
Pope Francis made history today by becoming the first ever Pope to address a joint session of Congress.
Seated behind him, there were two devout Catholics on opposite sides of the political divide: Vice President Biden and House Speaker John Boehner.
Boehner, known for his crying, teared up during the Pontiff’s rousing speech.
During his 45-minute address to Congress, Pope Francis touched on issues including immigration, poverty and even called to abolish the death penalty.
"Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War," he said. "Thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life.
“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. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome."
He added: "I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants."
Pope Francis spoke at his own pace in front of a packed House chamber which included members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, dignitaries and reporters.
He also cited American heroes like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Here too I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery 50 years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his "dream" of full civil and political rights for African Americans.
“That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of "dreams". Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people,” he said.
After his speech, the Pope met with the dignitaries and instead of going to an opulent lunch with American politicians, he is choosing to eat with many of Washington, D.C.’s homeless people.
He said in his speech: “I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.”
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