Repent! Pope Francis lectures America on immigration, abortion, gay marriage and the Syrian refugee crisis in first-ever Capitol Hill address by a sitting pontiff
- Francis opens last day of Washington visit with rebuke of congressional Republicans over lack of compassion for immigrants and refugees
- Papal visit comes amid rising tensions over immigration policies in Congress
- At least one Republican is boycotting speech in protest
- Francis lectures lawmakers about ‘defend[ing] human life at every stage of its development’ and ending the death penalty
- Subtle jab at gay marriage: ‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without’
Pope Francis delivered a stinging blow to nativist conservatives ben
t on keeping illegal immigrants and Middle Eastern refugees out of the United States, saying Thursday in a landmark address to Congress that Americans should show compassion to immigrants of all stripes.
‘When the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past,’ the Roman Catholic pontiff said. ‘We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our “neighbors” and everything around us.’
Speaking in English – a language he has only learned recently – Francis also dropped coded messages to conservatives about gay marriage and abortion, and made an impassioned plea for a left-leaning approach to capital punishment in an unprecedented visit to Capitol Hill by a sitting Pope.
‘I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without,’ Francis told a packed House chamber filled with legislators, Supreme Court justices and multiple presidential candidates.