Catholic voters are proud to call themselves Catholic after today’s address by the Holy Father to Congress. The humble voice of the Pope called on our political leaders to rediscover a spirit of solidarity in addressing issues of the family, life, the environment, and immigration.
This was not a political speech, but a call to rediscover the soul of America. The Holy Father was unabashedly pro-American in reminding our leaders of the primary purpose of politics, namely the protection of the dignity of every person and the common good.
Partisan pundits will be quick to parse each phrase for political advantage. Such parsing ignores the unifying themes of his address. Protection of our common home, the earth, includes protection of human life, the family, and the dignity of every person from the unborn, to the immigrant, to the poor and elderly. He reminded us that there’s nothing contradictory about protecting the family, the worker, the migrant, and the environment.
Any person listening to the Holy Father in a spirit of fraternity could not help but be encouraged. Particular policy solutions will understandably generate robust debate, but Pope Francis reminds us to always consider the common good, not just our own political advantage. Today’s address by Pope Francis shows the way forward.
A clear takeaway from this papal visit thus far is that the Catholic Church in America is more relevant than ever. Those who view religion as outdated or irrelevant would do well to listen to the Holy Father, and as well as watch the hundreds of thousands of people gathered everywhere he goes.
His humility is contagious. People sense that something truly special is happening in America during this papal visit. God willing, our political leaders will answer the call.