Pope Francis, in Washington, Addresses Poverty and Climate

Francis, who met with President Obama and Catholic bishops, waded into two of America’s most charged debates, on immigration and the environment.

Comments: 234

  1. Do you think he might consider running for the presidency? The humility, candor and lack of posturing are so refreshing.

  2. Hmmm...President Pope
    As much as I admire this man, his humility, and his caring, I wouldn't wish that on him. He's just fine the way he is.

  3. He is an Argentinian, he should fix that country-they are near the bottom in all measures.

  4. If only we were that lucky!

  5. Seeing the Pope and the President come together was very humbling. Although I don't agree with either of them on everything, I have the utmost respect for both of them.

  6. This is a very nice and thoughtful sentiment, devoid of so much of the rancor that fills these spaces. Independent of party affiliation, race or creed, they are simply two good human beings

  7. Pope Francis champions the poor, the disposed and the disenfranchised. He has just opened a shelter in Rome to house the poor: world leaders should take a leaf out of his book and act accordingly.
    His report on climate grange might not be scientific but the Pope is right when he says we're custodians of the earth. Senators have already been lambasting Pope Francis telling him to butt out but why should he. He has no vested interests in oil companies, fracking, he awaits no donors for his reelection.
    Francis is the first Pope In generations to tackle the thorny issues our elected officials ignore. This rare individual should run for high office: he would certainly make a difference.

  8. Sweetheart Littleninja2356

    But there is no office higher than his!

  9. An "office" Francis would run for would be a demotion from the position he now has.

  10. just a drop in the bucket- a token response to a problem that ALL organized religions have created.

  11. I believe that any hope of healing our planet and preserving our precious world must necessarily involve population control. A global campaign of family planning and responsible procreation must inevitably be part of this discussion.

  12. Very good point.

  13. You're right but only when more equal distribution of wealth occurs do poor families began to practice family planning as they no longer need children for social security.

  14. It's not a lie if you don't know the truth. In that case it's ignorance, and the Pope is completely ignorant about real life and the real world.

  15. Looks like the Pope is a liberal.I wonder if any of the Republicans in the joint session will call him a liar?

  16. How about 'foolish'?

  17. May be a double post but it's not a lie if you start talking about issues that you don't know anything about; it's ignorance, and the Pope is completely ignorant about real people and the real world. I think the essentially complete isolation of the Catholic hierarchy is part of the problem.

  18. A liberal who is pro-life and believes abortion is immoral? Impossible!

  19. I agree with most of what Pope Francis is doing. He enjoys giving back to people, just as Christ gave back to people as well. He is a very humble person, and I respect that. I do not agree with most of Obama's presidential policies, but I do respect him as a person. We need more world leaders that will step up and lead by example, showing the world that it's okay to humble yourself and give back to others, rather than being selfish. Pope Francis is quite different from previous popes in that he doesn't try to mingle as much in issues that are more political. It was good to see them together and trying to make peace.

  20. You don't think that a call to follow the advice of science and save future generations from destructive climate change is "political" or important - perhaps even historical in the church's ushering in a "second enlightenment" ?

  21. I hope ALL the presidential aspirants, from Berni and going rightwards, is in the audience when the Pope visits the Congress tomorrow.

    Some could get some tips on how to behave, and communicate, in the public.

  22. The Pope Missed a Perfect Opportunity!

    As a Jew, I like this Pope, as I see him as bringing hope, love, and integrity to all. Yes, I don't agree with most religions on the issue of limiting women's rights, abortion, etc., but if these are truly kept separate from what a government requires, then let us all live what we believe without mandating such to others.

    Unfortunately, what the Pope, our President, our Congress, and the Media missed, is that today is the highest of holly days; Yom Kippur. If the message is to truly bring all people together, then perhaps the Pope and our Gov't should have at least mentioned the other "great" religions, wished those celebrating Yom Kippur a "good yuntiff", or used such as a common theme for us all to reflect and atone for our sins. Lastly, I also need to ask myself, why was this day chosen, as Jews would have liked to be part of the welcoming and were obviously not part of the plan.

    Just a thought, as the staunch global leaders and US Politicians that claim to be the protectants of the State of Israel, didn't seem to think about the Jew's that reside both here and there...

  23. Actually, during the canonization ceremony, the Jewish High Holy Day was acknowledged.

  24. It is also Eid For Muslims this week. A holiday that promotes a message of peace and care for those in need!

  25. "Yes, I don't agree with most religions on the issue of limiting women's rights, abortion, etc., but if these are truly kept separate from what a government requires, then let us all live what we believe without mandating such to others."
    Spoken like a man...

  26. I can't wait for Pope Francis' speech to Congress. %35 people who are so out of touch, so selfish, so self centered and so divided, that I hope the Pope let's them have it.

    On our local news, here, there was talk of some GOP members possibly boycotting the Pope's speech. If they do, then it proves once and for all my low opinion of Congress.

    Much of what the Pope will talk about is endemic in this country. Poverty, economic disparity, and the upheaval of tens of thousands from the middle east and elsewhere. Not that Congress has heard this before, they were too busy ignoring it and doing the will of their minions. And, of course, trying to derail President Obama at every turn.

    Tomorrow, I hope Pope Francis gives the greatest tongue lashing in the history of Congress; they deserve it.

  27. Well written !

  28. A tongue lashing on issues that are not in the Pope's jurisdiction is the last thing we need. He should stick to issues that are contained in the message of Christ. He should be discussing the message of the bible, not prohibiting or guiding policy for something that is completely outside of his line of work. The Vatican, through weakness on dealing with real church issues and not dealing with its member's behaviors, has lost its influence.

  29. A big Amen to that brother.

  30. Shame on the members of Congress who plan to boycott the Pope's speech. It proves they only listen to wealthy donors and to heck with the ideas or opinions of anybody who doesn't throw cash at them.

  31. Linda, he is not a head of state. We are spending almost 100 million on his security as the head of a church. That alone means that people who represent the taxpayers should boycott this fund raising tour for the church by the pope.

  32. Money well spent compared to the trillions we spent on wars that ruined the lives of 10s of millions.

  33. More than likely, we're throwing cash at the pope!

  34. I wonder if the pope will discuss the sanctity of life, opposition to euthanasia, lack of freedom in Cuba and gay marriage. If he misses the chance to mention a few of these then one has to wonder what kind of Pope he is. By the way,I'm not Catholic but know the churches views on those matters.

  35. If he did those things -- which are part and parcel of the Roman Catholic faith -- then he would no longer be the darling of the lefty liberals.

    He only is so -- and fawned on in these pages -- because they (wrongly!) believe the Pope is about to legalize gay marriage, legalize divorce, have married and female priests, approve of birth control and abortion.

    This adulation is so fawning and phony.

  36. Let's see if the Pope gives a shout out to the Little Sisters of the Poor, whom he visited today, and mentions religious liberty again.

    Concerned Citizen:

    Obama should introduce the Pope to Reverend Wright.

  37. How ludicrous. Poverty, "climate change", the desperation of illegal immigration; all are the product of overpopulation, and were predicted long ago by ecologists and other scientists whose warnings went unheeded by politicians and religious leaders, including Catholic leaders who still adhere to their opposition to modern contraception.

  38. Dear RC:
    You are inappropriately correlating "overpopulation" with "climate change"...if we all still rode around in horse/buggy, the only methane being aired would be from all the horses. You do the same with poverty and illegal immigration along similar lines, as again, that is a failure of the respective gov'ts to provide economic (jobs) viability. Read "The Prize" or any other book on how the powerful will exploit every drop of natural resources to build an empire to last millenniums.

    I completely agree that preventing the use of Birth Control is ludicrous and the DATA show that families have better incomes, there is a tremendous decrease in abortions, and less deaths from pregnancy. Furthermore, the DATA shows that over 80% of catholics in the US use BC.

  39. Well said, thank you.

  40. I am not Catholic, yet even my own cynical self is inspired by this pope. The Catholic Church is a very old and very large ship that may take more than a year or two to change course, especially on something as fundamental in their dogma as birth control As ludicrous as it may sound, I say have a little faith.

  41. Pope Francis's priorities are PRECISELY the same priorities that JESUS CHRIST would have were he walking the earth today. As his vicar, Francis is doing a fantastic job of getting his message out to the masses. What a pity that the so-called "religious right" in this country (including, alas, far too many self-serving conservative Catholics) choose to ignore his words in exchange for their own PERSONAL agendas which focus primarily on greed and other selfish interests. In any case, Francis is a welcome breath of fresh air especially during this most DISMAL electoral season where we (the thinking part of the electorate) has been BARRAGED by the most ludicrous and stupid and hateful comments to ever soil the American political stage. Thank you, Pope Francis, for bring a "ray of light" into the abyss.

  42. The world human population was quite low when the words “Be Fruitful and Multiply” were first spoken. Now we have too many people for Earth’s limited resources. And we are using the resources in ways that pollute. The Church admonishes women to submit to their husbands, and not to use artificial means of birth control. How can the Pope be an environmentalist while telling people to be fruitful and multiply?

  43. Catholic Church does not admonish wives to submit to husbands; that wording is used by some fundamentalist Protestant groups that write books discussing how wives should submit to husbands. Also, pope said people do not need to "be like rabbits" by having litters of kids.

  44. He has already told them to stop breeding like rabbits!

    "Telling the story of a woman he met in a parish in Rome several months ago who had given birth to seven children via cesarean section and was pregnant with an eighth, Francis asked: 'Does she want to leave the seven orphans?'

    " 'This is to tempt God,' he said, adding later: 'That is an irresponsibility.' Catholics, the pope said, should speak of 'responsible parenthood.'

    " 'How do we do this?' Francis asked. 'With dialogue. Each person with his pastor seeks how to do that responsible parenthood.'

    " 'God gives you methods to be responsible,' he continued. 'Some think that — excuse the word — that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No.' "

    That is the opposite of be fruitful and multiply.

  45. To J. Daniel:
    Are you aware of the research conducted by George Borjas, an economist at Harvard? He has found that the rate of employment of African -Americans has decreased as the numbers of illegal aliens have increased.

  46. The Pope, like all religious leaders, is an environmental criminal. They may spout on about climate change, but the more immediate threat is the sixth mass extinction of non-human species caused by human over-population, which A.G.W. will only make worse. These religious eco-terrorists, such as the Pope, condemn birth control and encourage high human fertility, thus dooming earth's flora and fauna.

  47. The ethical stands of Pope Francis and for that matter Bernie Sander sas a Jew for the poor, against climate change and immigration reform mean nothing to the evangelical Christian base of the Republican Party and therefore to the Republican Congress, people he will be addressing today.

    To them the Pope and Bernie Sanders are not born again and thus have no moral standing. Note the bull horn wielding evangelical, he is far from alone, in front of the White House calling the Pope the anti Christ and the thunderous silence Mr. Sanders message. received at Liberty University. this is something Evangelicals rarely admit this as they wish to appear beyond religious prejudice for the sake of appearing open minded.

    But among many Evangelicals religious prejudice trumps down to earth policies that help people or benefit the human race. To them the end time is coming and nothing else matters. And that is who is influencing so much of our Republican politics today. Heaven help us.

  48. There is no one "Christian" group in the US that holds power. That's why the whole idea of "theocracy" is laughable silly.

    My dad was a convert to Seventh Day Adventism, and boy did they ever hate Catholics. He had many books about the awfulness of the "papacy". Catholics in turn don't like Protestants or Evangelicals. Protestant churches disagree with each other on minutiae of faith. And they all utterly despise Mormons, and don't think they are even Christians.

    That isn't even considering the Jews, who fight amongst themselves (Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, ULTRA Orthodox).

  49. '...the pope also noted the country’s origins at a time when critics of illegal immigration are pushing to build a wall at the border...'

    In Rome, the Church leaders live in a huge palace filled with untold wealth in art and jewels, while in the US, the Church owns real estate worth billions of dollars, all tax exempt.

    The indigent in America are not supported by the Church, they are supported by the taxpayers, who also pay their medical bills. Meanwhile, the Church does everything in its power, including illegally lobbying Congress, to deny birth control to all women, while encouraging the poorest to have many children. After all, the Church needs the pews filled and, since someone else pays the bills, it is a win-win.

    The anti-women anti-birth control stance of the Catholic Church (along with Islam) is responsible for much of the poverty and misery of women and children throughout the Third World. Mexico, Latin America, Africa, these nations are overpopulated with starving women and children, while the Church works endlessly to deny them rights over their own bodies.

    The Pope may well be a decent man, but when 50% of Church followers are told that their only purpose in life is to have more and more babies, even if it kills them, it is hard to understand what all the genuflecting is about.

  50. Not to mention the appalling treatment of the indigenous impoverished populations of Central America and Mexico by their elites - who are overwhelmingly of European ancestry.

    Somehow, this source of the "humanitarian crisis" is totally ignored or glossed over in favor of focusing on so-called "racist" opposition by poor and working class U.S. citizens to massive amounts of illegal immigration from these very same countries...

  51. The Pope's priority, clearly, is simple goodness. It includes the Common Good, something that hasn't been given a lot of attention in recent times. Those who believe in profit at any cost don't like the idea of the common good. It doesn't mean that profit is bad in and of itself, just that some things are more important than profit. And just as importantly, Pope Francis has recognized that belief isn't necessarily a requirement for someone to be filled with goodness. Is there any doubt at all about how those who would boycott the Pope's presence in Congress feel about the Common Good?

  52. Your correction needs correcting ... It's Silver Spring Maryand. silver SpringS is in Florida.

  53. It's nice that Pope Francis is speaking up for immigrants,but they did not come to an unpopulated country. He should give a shout-out to the native people in the hemisphere, many of whom were tortured if they would not convert. Especially since he is canonizing Rev. Junipero Serra.

  54. I give this Pope credit as being the finest religious leader in my lifetime. He is far above and beyond anyone I know of in any religion (although admittedly he has tough competition in the Dalai Lama). Thus far he has wielded his tremendous influence magnificently, and for (almost) all the right reasons. As he has intimated, we will likely not be "blessed" by his presence for very long, but I for one am grateful for his efforts against poverty, injustice, and environmental destruction.

  55. My last "free" article of the month and I do want to comment. How can the New York Times be such a tool? The New York Times has done more for the poor than the Vatican in 2000 years! Do not be fooled. Do not be taken in.

    Yes the climate is changing, as it ALWAYS has. God is real. God exists. God controls the weather. It is not changed by burning fossil fuels. It is not changed by having a refrigerator. The climate changes. We are given the brains to deal with it. This man who is very much a part of a corporate enterprise dedicated to prey on people should not be given the voice that the New York Times is giving him. The people employed by the NY Times have more morals than this "Pope". He is not the representative of Jesus on earth. He causes people to abandon their faith, which is evil's agenda. I know you won't publish my comment. But you should stop enabling with your barrel of ink! Which side are you on? Good or evil?

  56. The Pope's comments may sound nice, but he cannot go on blaming everybody else for climate change and environmental destruction. This is a direct result of overpopulation. For too many years the Catholic Church disastrously not only declared the use of so-called artificial contraceptives immoral, it has actively sought to ban their use. There are still battles going on in the US over the contraceptive mandate. In the Philippines and throughout the third world the Catholic Church is actively fighting to keep contraceptive use either illegal or unavailable. The world we are living in cannot sustain continued population growth. If the Pope cannot see something this obvious, his credibility will be lost.

  57. overpopulation along with consumerism . that's' the true cause. Now that China and India have joined the capitalistic consumer ballgame with their 2 billion people it amplifies the destruction even more.

  58. It will be interesting to see how the climate change deniers (sorry Associated Press, they are deniers, not just doubters) in Congress react. Don't be surprised if the cafeteria Catholics on the Republican right deny the Pope's position on climate change. As usual greed will trump (or is it Trump?) religion.

  59. I wish the Pope were running for president. His values are what we need and not the bankrupt ones of the Republicans. Maybe they will get a wake up call as a result of his visit. Not.

  60. Some of us seem quick to point out the Pope isn't talking much about population growth.

    While I disagree with the Pope on contraception and abortion, he did say, human beings needn't "breed like rabbits," and it is also true that an American child will use 800x the resources of a child born in India. I don't think we westerners are off the hook, given our patterns of consumption, and I applaud what this Pope has to say about poverty. One might hope that if poverty is addressed, along with 1st world greed, population mighttake care of itself. (With a little help from contraception. )

  61. Paula, westerners are not off the hook. The population of industrialized countries must decrease if the biosphere is to be maintained. It is unfortunate that many countries that have attained population stability or decline are now being flooded by immigrants from the third world that do "breed like rabbits."

  62. Capitalism? Climate change? Immigration? The Pope sounds like he's running for elective office. These two groups, the Catholic Church and the United States government are both guilty of human rights abuses at some point. This is what they should be talking about. Why not talk about capital punishment? It's been all but eliminated in predominantly Christian nations. And yet, the United States government continues to execute people. Or how about addressing the issue of torture and solitary confinement of prisoners? It seems to me the Pope doesn't want to talk about these sensitive but serious issues that run contrary to Catholic teachings.

  63. Poverty, climate change and migrants. All I ever hear religious people talking about is gay marriage and abortion.

  64. Why does the Pope's message seem diametrically opposite to that which we hear from "people of faith" in this country?

  65. I love my church and I love our pope. I'm very disappointed in him that he didn't explicitly assail the current atrocious persecutions of the church, especially, of course, in the ME. Frankly, it makes him seem...cowardly, when he complains here about capitalism---so to speak---and doesn't lower the boom on the Castros. Very disappointed in him about this....

  66. Were the Pope truly interested in "tackling global poverty, confronting climate change, [and] caring for migrants" he would have keep repeating his sensible advice that Catholics need not breed "like rabbits," which would help with all three of them. Instead, he treated it as a Kinsley gaffe ('when a politician tells the truth--some obvious truth he isn't supposed to say') and reverted to nonsense like "We can all say that the principal cause of poverty is an economic system that has removed the person from the center, and put the god of money there instead." If that's true, why are impoverished migrants the world over trying to make their way to countries with market economies?

    Of course the Pope, like most American Catholic leaders, is all for Hispanic (Catholic) immigration--legal or illegal--to the U.S. since America's parishes are not "challenged by their diversity" but by their empty pews.

    I'll leave his praise for the bishops' "courage" in dealing with the Church's child-abuse history to others commenters.

  67. If the Pope wants to improve the lives of the poor, limit climate change and reduce the flow of migrants fleeing failed nations, he should mention support for family planning.

  68. Making the poor a priority? Raise your hand if you've been to the Vatican. The art, the opulence, the gold, the precious gems on public view leaves one's jaw agape. One can only imagine the depth of wealth and treasures owned by the Catholic church and stored at the Vatican alone.

    If the Vatican sold a bauble or three--I would argue a tiny fraction of the disgusting materialism it contains--it could make a huge difference in the plight of the poor. If the church needs the money (HA!) selling a small a portion of the Vatican treasures alone could end world hunger. I'm not kidding. Let's not even talk about the gilt and fine art in every little neighborhood church throughout Italy.

    As a lapsed Catholic, I like Francis OK. He's certainly better than any Pope in my lifetime. But he could put the Vatican money where his papal mouth is. I know Catholics pilgrimage to the Vatican and see the Berninis and the Raphaels and the Michaelangelos as glory to God. What I saw was a disgusting affront to every teaching of Jesus about caring for the poor and throwing the money changers out of the temple.

  69. Exactly. Been there myself.

  70. He is truly a man of justice and peace, and a model for the rest of us to follow. We can ask ourselves, "what would Papa Francesco do?" and the answer is likely to involve compassion, humility, and a good dose of humor.

  71. To all climate change deniers: Listen to the Pope. It's not about what you believe or not believe, it's simply about stewardship of the earth, the very air that we breathe, our common home. Our home and our childrens' home. Period.

  72. The Pope is an invented deity and a joke... Here's a guy who makes Father Junipero Serra a Saint after he oversaw the murder and torture of California Native Indians-forcing them to become Catholics while stripping them of their entire culture... As a former Catholic I am disgusted with all the poison and hypocrisy of Catholicism..

  73. A lot of platitudes and no clue as to how anything can be accomplished without making things worse.

  74. At the roots of both climate change and poverty is overpopulation. Until the pope addresses church doctrine as a contributor to our crowded planet, he is not truly seriously addressing either issue.

  75. And all this from a guy who flew here on a HUGE carbon foot-printing, air polluting, fossil fuel guzzling JET AIRCRAFT manufactured and owned by Capitalist Pigs. And a guy whose multi-MULTI-BILLION Dollar Catholic Church Corporation just took in a WHOPPING 'TWO' POOR Syrian refuge families into the WALLED Vatican City. A guy whose FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS when he became Pope was to fix the screwed up filthily wealthy Vatican BANK of MAMMON! We need to take criticism from this guy? Riiiiiiiihgt!!!!

  76. Anyone who has read the New Testament should not be surprised by the Pope's message. Being a Jesuit, Francis has the most profound understanding of Christ's words and instructions. Jesus, who lead his time on earth in simple garb, moving among the masses trying to alleviate the suffering of the poor, the sick, and the old. And now the symbolism of the Pope riding in that simple Fiat surrounded by an armada of gleaming chrome and metal vehicles loaded with the latest technology and creature comforts, reminds one of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey. And tomorrow the Pope will enter the Halls of Congress populated by far too many powerful and worldly men who are hypocrites bought off by special interests, again reminding us of Christ among a den of thieves.

  77. He is going into Congress to visit The Pharisees, the Money Changers, the Proud and arrogant, and may just save a few of their souls, if they listen to Pope Francis. "Blessed is he who comes in the name of The Lord".

  78. Aren't the opinions of the Pope just an argument by authority? If someone isn't Catholic, his ideas on political and scientific matters are on about the same level as an actor or a CEO.

  79. In saying the Catholic church addressed the sex abuse scandal with "courage", he is bearing false witness on behalf of despicable sinners.

    No wonder the archbishop of Newark, who tolerated and concealed such abuse, is allowed to retire to a mansion while diocese schools are closed for lack of funds.

  80. I am not Catholic and have been very anti-Catholic because of the child sexual abuse and cover-up. But I LOVE Francis. I love his face, it is truly beautiful. And, wow, didn't he slam those anti-immigrants and very quickly, too! Whoo-hoo! Can't wait for the speech to Congress tomorrow. And I doubt if Francis will be too bothered by any of those boycotting, close-minded Congress people.

  81. '...And, wow, didn't he slam those anti-immigrants and very quickly, too...'

    Because the Church needs to fill those pews and coffers.

  82. The Pope's visit should be a lesson to us all--that no matter how pious, no matter how godly, learned or compassionate, even the Pontiff has blind spots. Imagine--he visits Cuba where the vast majority are poor, because they are not free. Then he comes to our country, where we are all free--and where the poorest among us is wealthier than the average Cuban--and yet he reserves his poverty speech for US!

    The difference between our country and Cuba--or Venezuela--or North Korea, is that Capitalism has created great wealth--and we are easily able to take care of our poor. If you doubt this--leave the country for almost anywhere.

  83. Taking care of billionaires is much more important than taking care of the poor.

    Unregulated capitalism is a disease.

  84. Don't fool yourself - other countries have the ability to take care of their poor too, but their elites hoard all of the money and resources for their own enrichment.

    If this country is able to "easily" care for its poor, what is stopping it? There are homeless people all over the place.

  85. I am glad I am not Catholic. I can still listen to my church leaders and not be in conflict with my conservative moral principles.

  86. Name a conservative moral principle the pope violates. Is it really true then that conservative values are destroying the environment and ignoring the plight of the poor?

  87. Pope Francis is quite simply the coolest person on the planet today, now that Nelson Mandela is gone.

  88. Where is our national pride as Americans? We allow him, on our territory, to canonize s Spaniard who massacred our Native American tribes. Canada and New Zealand would not have allowed such an action on their soil.

  89. With all due respect...is the Catholic Church now nothing more than a social justice organization? Whatever happened to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Shouldn't the saving of lost souls command the pope's attention? Is he simply trying to make people more comfortable on their way to hell? This world is going to pass away...just sayin'.

  90. Much of Christ's teaching is about social justice. Please read the New Testament. Open your eyes

  91. You need to wake up. Jesus also WARNED about IMMORALITY.

  92. "While the last two popes focused on traditional moral issues like abortion and homosexuality, Francis left those to the side in Mr. Obama’s presence." Was the Pope "afraid" to talk about these issues in front of Obama as he was "afraid" to talk about dissidents in front of the Castro Brothers? He will visit a prison in the United States but was apparently afraid to visit a prison in Cuba. This Pope is pathetic. I'm not even sure if he's qualified to be a Pope.

  93. At last, a pope for whom "respect for life" is not limited to fetuses, but includes the hungry, the sick, prisoners, victims of war and those risking everything to flee from it. At last, a pope for whom "personal responsibility" is not limited to pregnant women, but includes environmental stewardship, individual and corporate greed, care for the poor and the otherwise vulnerable. Are self-described devout Catholics like Jeb!, Rubio, Boehner, Jindal, Christie and Santorum receptive? Will they use their power and influence to realize Pope Francis' message, or just use religion to further their own talking points?

  94. Numbers 35:33
    You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.

  95. There is no group of people more globally discriminated against than women. I wish the Pope would make fixing that a priority. Unfortunately since the church he heads openly contributes to that discrimination, I know he won't. Imagine if the Catholic Church fought as hard against rape as it does against abortion.

  96. This is a perfect opportunity for the pope to talk with the Chinese president while they are both here in the United States.

    China is one of the world's top polluters of the environment and builders of new coal-fired power plants. They are also taking none of the Syrian refugees.

    Capitalism not socialism lifts people out of poverty and the United States has contributed more money than any other nation to help other people.

    The pope should be thanking not lecturing the people of the United States.

  97. I like the pope very much, and much of what he stands for. But he has an enormous blind spot when it comes to over-peopling the earth. So many species have lost habitat, or even life itself as the result of an expanding population of human beings, whose presence on this planet has doubled since the 1960s, and who have encroached upon the territory of every other species. (Hint: St. Francis called the birds and animals brothers and sisters. It's their world too.)

    Far too many thinking Catholics who favored mindful procreation and conscious procreation have muffled their own voices because the pope has suggested that population control is being used as a "distraction" from the important issue of climate change. I disagree. The two issues are inseparable.

  98. I stayed home all day, ironically, to write my parish's annual fundraising campaign letter for my pastor. But my concentration kept being broken by the images of the Pope in various Washington ceremonies. Finally, letter finished, I could devote myself to the canonization Mass, which tired me out just watching it--Francis is 10 years older than I, but has 50 times the energy.

    I thought Pope Francis struck just the right tone, on both immigration and global warming. Here not to scold as much as to teach, he was a living example of both topics--as an immigrant himself, and as the author of one of the most unique encyclicals ever. I was struck by not only the pomp but the crowds: I don't think any papal visit ever got this much attention and nonstop press, not even the visits of John Paul.

    It's clear the world is enamored of this pope despite the fact he doesn't always hit the high notes of people's expectations. His stance on increasing the role of women in the church--not gonna change--is quite disappointing. And his neglect of the victims of sexual abuse, also disheartening. At the very least he should offer a very public apology on behalf of the entire church--not just his personal "I'm sorry."

    But because he has moved the focus in the church from nonstop reminders of sexual teachings to more global concerns for Christian charity and earthly stewardship, his papacy has already earned its legacy in the annals of Vatican history.

  99. Val in Brooklyn.

    Ms. McMorrow, I've read your comments for some time now and nearly always agree with you, including today. I look forward to reading your take on things.

    What do you think of Pope Francis' canonizing Junipero Serra, who seemed to have a highly questionable character? I've just read about what he did to the Native Americans in CA. (Not to get too personal or put you on the spot, but Native Americans are in my bloodline on both sides.) I understand that Junipero Serra was also part of the Inquisition.

  100. The power brokers in the Republican party are in a tail spin between telling the public that Donald Trump does not represent their 'values' (if they can be called values), though he does, and the message of the Pope on subjects like global warming, income inequality, and compassion for migrants.
    The Pope is, after all, 'infallible. ( Sorry, Newt!)
    This leaves me gleeful.

  101. He will not talk about too many people on Earth - a different type of the same denial.

  102. First, human overpopulation is not as drastic many make it out to be. Second, birthrates fall with more education, higher standards of living, and greater access to healthcare. Tackle those three, and you'll see a decrease in birthrates. Look at developed vs. undeveloped country birthrates for the trend.

  103. You fail to understand the reality in plain sight.

  104. The Catholic Church is the one true church of Christ, but Not because it is made up of holy men, it is because it is made up of sinful men. The church transforms sinners through the faith of Christ.

  105. Besides the mansion he lives in, how he badmouth a the wealthy Catholics that probably give 80% or more of the tithes to his church and other charities, and the thousands of pounds of CO2 his jet produced (take a sailboat) he should keep his mouth shut. He also has a sex abuse problem that takes away his moral authority. We should all try to help those in need, but he has his own house to clean before he clobbers others.

  106. He actually doesn't live in the papal palace.

  107. North Carolina was home to tens of thousands of slaves and many thousands of slave owners. Even today, NC has have massive black poverty, illiteracy and joblessness among blacks. Should you have to "keep your mouth shut until your house is clean"?

  108. He lives in a suite in the Vatican guesthouse. No great sacrifice there.

  109. Sainthood for Junipero Serra? That's like canonizing the priest on a slave ship.

  110. Good one.

  111. NYT: Afghan President Vows to Crack Down on Abuse of Boys

    Perhaps the Pope should meet with the Afghans and exchange notes.

  112. America's "vast resources demand a deep sense of moral responsibility." Congress; West Virginia and Kentucky coal barons; Koch Brothers: do you hear?

  113. Is the pope listening to his own message?

  114. I am my no means a historian of the papacy, but an occasional observer. In my experience, the current Pope is remarkable, perhaps unique. First of all, in his reliance on science and current events to inform himself and the world on the crises we all face, but more importantly, his willingness to give moral instructions to the world on how to remedy the plight of the poor, the outcast, and our planet that is liable to become inhospitable to many more of us. He is also an embarrassment to some politicians who deny the crises, clearly for their own political ends. Bravo to this man. Give him the Nobel Prize and a congressional medal of honor.

  115. This seems to be an another propaganda by Pope Francis. Actions speak louder than words: Pope should be using billions of $$ that the church have to address these issues. First spend all your money then ask for more. Else it all the same old mantra to fool the flock. Don't get me wrong: everyone is praying hard with Pope but only to get rich.

  116. The pope seems like a good man, and conveys a message of universal good, nothing to dismiss in today's world. But with all the acknowledged poverty and need in the world, the church still finds it acceptable to wrap itself in tremendous wealth, (much of it from the poor but not for the poor), in gold, pagentry, and the finest attire, not something we associate with the life of Jesus, their stock and trade.

  117. Mr. Pope, please don't talk to me about poverty until you're ready to endorse birth control for your flock.

  118. The are other methods to birth control other than the "Politically Correct" ones like "abortion" the Pope probably endorses is "abstinence".... however as most will agree refraining from one the most natural human desires is possibly one of the most difficult challenges facing humanity especially when there is lack of teachings of respect and love and how "desire" in certain contexts is misconstrued or confused for "love".

    Life can be simple, but too often we humans make it too complex based on pride or trying to keep up with the Kardashians .... so perhaps we need to try to keep up with the Pope...

  119. Possibly the strongest message the Pope conveys is that ordinary people like himself make the difference......

  120. "devotion to freedom of liberty and religion "

    Translation: Religious liberty. Directly stated. The first item he stated. It doesn't show in the Times' list of issues in the lead paragraph. It isn't even alluded to until the 8th paragraph.

  121. I'm conflicted. On one hand the Pope is an adored religious nobleman who gives meaning and hope to the world's poor. But Catholicism stubborn stand on contraception is compounding problems for the poor who are tortured by child malnutrition and mortatality. When will common sense prevail?

  122. The Pope has changed the tone of many of the subjects he has spoken on and I applaud him on that. But if people think that he will have the moral authority and sway opinion like in years past, I think they will be disappointed. He has increased the popularity of the Catholic Church which has taken and continues to take heat over sex and other scandals.

    But overall, I think he is a more human Pope and that bodes well for the Church and for the public. I don't agree with everything he says, but I think his tone and ability to not demonize others that do not agree with him is a new and welcome change.

    Now if only he didn't come with the ridiculous security and frozen zones.

  123. The Pope is a man burdened with a huge task-list of unresolved issues facing the Church, one of which is the Vatican's continuing refusal to open up its Holocaust-era records for study by scholars. This would require nothing more on his part than a nod of his head and would earn him the gratitude of millions of people still struggling to understand how the disaster which was the Holocaust could have occurred.


  124. The Holy Father's visit the United States is truly refreshing and could not be at a more opportune time. America is deeply divided about global warming, income Inequality and Immigration. Despite not agreeing on all issues Pope Francis and President Obama share similar ideas on important issues and can be leading examples for the rest of the world.
    Pope Francis is an inspiration to humanity, not just catholics. His humility and love for the poor and disenfranchised reminds us that we are the keepers of our brothers and sisters.

  125. Who elected the pope?
    I don't care what he says or thinks, he's nobody to me.
    A lecture about poverty from someone who lives in the lap of luxury in the nicest address in Rome is ridiculous.
    In ancient times, royalty and clergy ran things, while the rest of humanity was poor.
    Both kings and priests are throwbacks to a time when people let themselves be dictated to.
    I for one have no respect for religious leaders because like kings they make a great living accomplishing little or nothing.
    If the pope wanted to eradicte poverty, he would tour Latin America and tell the poor to stop having so many children.

  126. In modern time our economic royalty feed their foolish adherents false resentments. Like resentment of Latin America.

  127. Umm, he was living very humbly prior to becoming the Pope and even as pope he has turned away many of the luxuries available to him and IS living simply. If you don't care, why are you posting here? Here is a world leader trying to change a rigid culture and spread a message of love and acceptance to the world.

    Rome wasn't built in a day. YOu have to pick and choose your battles and your message. HE has stepped out way beyond any pope in recent history with his message. He can't do it all. If you want a message that others will listen to and respond to, you need to keep it clear, simple and concise. Yes the birthrate in many countries is huge problem, but he can't address all the issues. That's like firing the coach because his team didn't win with big enough margins.
    SOme things may not get addressed by this pope, but he has made significant headway in addressing what's wrong with the church. Look at the progress he has made and not just what he hasn't done.

  128. He's an improvement over Pope Benedict who sported designer accessories (sunglasses) and shoes.

  129. Where are the women? As usual, missing and invisible in the exclusive boy's club of Catholic clergy. While the Pope is addressing difficult and important issues such as poverty and freedom, he and others within the magisterium continue the spiritual abuse of women who are forbidden to use their God given gifts in ordained pastoral ministries. As a result, few Catholic mothers encourage their children to become priests and nuns. Women seek the respect and encouragement to follow the Holy Spirit's direction in how they use their gifts to build up God's Kingdom on earth.
    Consider that Christ's closest followers were women and that many of his male disciples were married. Also, keep in mind that the early Church had many women as priests, bishops and deacons. Excluding women only happened when the Church became an earthly political entity and the boys in charge wanted to keep the power,prestige and possessions within the coffers of the Vatican. Such a decision did not follow in Christ's footsteps and resulted in putting women in their place as objects for control and abuse. If women had been integrated into the leadership of the Church, the practice of sexual abuse probably would not have happened.
    Unless Pope Francis has the courage to take on his own all male magisterium and trust that the Holy Spirit determines how one's gifts are to be expressed, then the active members of the Catholic Church will continue to shrink.

  130. Good heavens. Lets do a poll and see how many Catholic women want to be Catholic priests or think women should be priests. The Catholic Church is NOT a democracy. Where do all these mostly non-Catholics get the idea that the Catholic Church needs to change? There are plenty of Protestant denominations to pick from. Leave the Catholic Church alone.

  131. Claire, if you'd like to meet the Catholic women who want to be priests, make friends with a few nuns or sisters. They are plenty of women who hear a call.

  132. we should do a poll, you might be surprised! there are many practicing Catholics you would likely agree that change is needed on a number of issues, why would anyone not women to be priests and church leaders? maybe there is fear and anxiety that they might to a better Job !

  133. Typically the secular ( atheist) newspaper hasn't a clue. The Pope is here to save souls and teaches us how we can save ourselves. Jesus (aka God) explained that on the last day, when HE will judge mankind, He will send to heaven those who fed the hungry, gave a drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked, cared for the sick, for when we do such things for, 'the least of these' we do it to God (Christ) Himself. Similarly when we deny care to the helpless, the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned, the sick, then we earn eternity in hell, because we deny God Himself when we deny even the least of these.

    Christ would never be a republican or a democrat, which explains why politics has no value to Pope Francis, only people do.

  134. The message of Jesus was for you and me to feed the hungry. We will get no credit for paying taxes to do that. That isn't charity that is compulsion. The message of Jesus is an intensely personal one. We will not be judged by which political party we espoused.

  135. Any religion or spiritual path that does not connect divinity with humanity is not a spiritual path, or a path to enlightenment. Karma and Dharma are connected. And Kharma does not mean fate, but duty, your authentic self with authentic actions...and your evolution of the mind, that includes your thoughts as well as your feelings, desires, social responsibilities and values.

  136. I'm thrilled Francis is the Pope. He's done so much in such a short period of time it's almost breathtaking.

    People have every right to criticize him but they also need to cut him some slack. He's no more perfect than any other human being. On some issues he's wrong, and on some issues he's really just not qualified to opine at all. Yet when you compare him to most of the popes of history, or to most of our other "leaders" today, Francis is like Yogi Berra playing amongst Little Leaguers. He's not calling for holy wars, or conspiring to defraud, or threatening to shut down governments over petty ideological spats.

    It's not just about how much good he does, although there's plenty of that. It's also about how much worse he could have been, and about how much better he is than most. I can't think of anyone in a comparable position I admire more, and I'm not even Catholic.

  137. Lately, I have only heard apologies from the Pope. Sorry for the sex abuse. Sorry for the guillotine. Sorry for the Inquisitions. The papacy seems to be on a widely publicized PR tour. And, unsurprisingly, the media seems to be genuflecting to the will of the Holy See by avoiding any of the tough, hard-hitting questions that still remains in the minds and hearts of Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

  138. Immigration, poverty and climate change would all be more manageable if contraception were practiced more widely around the world. That the Catholic Church and its leader still consider contraception a mortal sin punishable by an eternity in hell is something the Pope ought to address if he's truly interested in making a difference.

  139. Talk about a glass half empty perspective. Would we hear anything as remotely progressive from the mullahs of the Middle East?

  140. Another CEO seeking investors for their coffers. Why do we have to go back instead of moving forward. Our science tells us that we have been here for thousands of years and have survived. Our role in on this planet is to survive..but along the way we have to reproduce so that our specie can survive..but we might as well enjoy a great quality of life. We are all going to die and there is no heaven or hell. But guilt can motivate the human mind to do incredible things...that is the secret of religion...

  141. And you know that there is no heaven or hell.....how? That is a belief, and you are completely entitled to hold it. As are those who believe differently than you. Tolerance cuts both ways, Indira.

  142. I listened to Pope Francis as he responded to President Obama's eloquent welcome to the White House. Like the Pope, I, too, am the son of an immigrant father and have seen first-hand how immigrants have enriched our country. I hope the Pope's quiet, but forceful, moral tone can help stem the rabid anti-immigrant tone that has captured the entire Republican Party and dominated their debate for the Presidential nomination. The Pope, himself, is an example of how immigrants can enrich their country and, in his case, the spiritual well-being of the world. Who knows, the next Pope could be the son of an Hispanic immigrant to the U.S.? All we have to do is open our minds, our hearts, and our doors.

  143. "Pope Francis introduced himself to the United States on Wednesday with a bracing message on climate change, immigration and poverty..."

    All of the above can be attributed to over-population. This is the biggest problem facing humanity and the Catholic church fails to address it. In wealthy nations, most Catholics ignore the Catholic church's teaching on birth control, but in poor countries women continue to have more children than they can afford. The Pope should be embracing family planning, newer methods do not allow conception to happen and enabling a woman to plan pregnancies is the surest way out of poverty and will aid in stopping the immigration explosion. Fewer people, less global warming. The Pope has addressed other thorny issues, it's time he started talking about the genesis of the problem: too many people.

  144. This is not really correct. The growth in consumption in the rich "First World" does more harm to our planet today than the population growth in the "Third World". Yes, overpopulation is a problem but greed and overconsumption is worse. This is rarely mentioned as so many are busy worshiping Baal.

  145. Francis' message will not resonate until he provides an equal seat at the table for women. Considering the cost of raising children and factoring in that most women in today's world also put food on the table and pay the rent , the medieval treatment of those tasked with perpetuating the human race must cease.

    Women must be treated as equals in today's society. Until that comes to pass , Francis and his church will continue to stifle fully one half of the human
    species for reasons lost in the mists of time and which have absolutely no relevance today.

    Furthermore , if the Pope is to champion the environmental cause , he must acknowledge that over population , particularly in the Asian countries , contributes significantly to environmental damage.

  146. Laurence Voss Valley Cottage, N.Y.

    Francis' message will not resonate until he provides an equal seat at the table for women.

    What kind of people use a "litmus test" to determine whether or not the Pope holds the *correct* views, and if he fails such a test, dismisses everything else he says?

    This Pope has a generous and compassionate message. He passes the "decency" test with flying colors. That's enough for most people.

  147. Don't make perfect the enemy of the good. Progress, not perfection, we are all sinners.

  148. "This Pope has a generous and compassionate message. He passes the "decency" test with flying colors. "

    He should be walking the walk by digging into his church's pockets and liquidating its wealth to help the poor, not berating everyone else for supposedly not doing enough for the poor.

  149. Might it be he chose this time to come here because we have a president who on non-theological issues he has and can make common cause? I think that may well be the case because his moral force and the force of the United States embodied in its president is a nearly incomparable combination in moral persuasion on critical global issues. Would that the member of Congress he will address tomorrow understood that half so well as the rest of the world. But more than half of them do not and are not capable of such understanding in their close-minded, smug moral self-certainty rooted in the past.

  150. Nice, and new to the century, a pope who stresses all of the teachings of Christ.

    Especially about the poor and justice.

    Perhaps Congress might model that behavior. Fat chance!

  151. I thought this guy was supposed to be a spiritual leader, not promoting political agendas. I hate to say it, this guy is no Pope John Paul. He is a socialist. He is spouting political rhetoric. He is going to further kill Catholism in the US.

    Catholics, and church goers in the US in general, are becoming fewer and farther in between. This guy is only going to make things worse.

    We need to fix our financial problems. We do not need to make them worse.

  152. He is addressing moral problems like climate change and how it will affect the poor. Immigration which affects the poor. And finally Poverty, certainly which affects the poor.
    The message of christ was to help others, esp the poor. Something many christians seem to forget.
    The reason why the number of religious is dropping because many don't see religion as a solution, but as the problem with too many religious being divisive and unchristian. The pope has been the most inclusive of all the religious leaders with his messages of acceptance.
    And I am glad he isn't john paul.

  153. Re-read your scripture. The Nazarene was a socialist, too. It took Protestantism to hoodwink people into thinking that unfettered capitalism was a moral imperative. Your complaint is not that he's spouting a political agenda, but that he spouts a political agenda different from yours and from the evangelicals, with their mega-churches, television and media empires, and soulless "theology."

  154. How inspiring, and how much we need a messenger like Francis during the ugliest, most base primary season we're enduring.
    While not a believer I'm glad to see him speak about what Christianity is supposed to be about, and reminding that humanity is all of us--inclusive-- as opposed to our evangelicals, fundamentalists and Catholics that only talk of abortion or homosexuality while blaming the poor for their troubles.
    Trying to get this pope to also address contraception, women in priesthood etc is asking a bit much---he's already facing revolt from within by loosening rules re divorced or gay people. He's surely not saying he, nor the CC, is perfect.
    Humility proves powerful, today, in a world of narcissistic blowhards.

  155. I am a Jain from India. I am not a Christian, certainly not a Catholic. Pope Francis inspires me to be a better human being, a better person, more generous, more kind, more tolerant, more forgiving, and more humble. If this is not the definition of Greatness, I don't know what defines greatness. May the Holy Father's Papacy be long and achieve Universal good for Humanity.

  156. What an absolutely Beautiful Comment, Rahul C. Mehta.
    Thank You.

  157. The Pope inspires me, too--to be the woman I am. More generous, more kind, more forgiving, more humble, and less capitalist than the patriarchy has ever been to me. May the Pope and all people learn from mothers all over the world. If we are allowed to control the number of children we have, and if we are allowed to protect them, the world will be the place the Pope seems to envision.

  158. You cut to the chase. Bless your generous heart. A few more like you and this country could turn around from being a hate-filled, materialist, military-industrial power.

  159. Jesus, Himself, could be standing right next to the Pope, nodding in approval at the Pope's message, and the right-wing, "Christian" mob would continue their racist, intolerant march. Strident ignorance is the gift that keeps on giving for the Republican Party in 2015.

  160. I would say the same for the left-wing minded that trample over the message of the Bible with their intolerance for anyone that doesn't meet the Left's definition of politically correct. Jesus didn't put up with with the religious status quo of his time and neither should we. All people should stand on principle and not be afraid to call out immoral behavior and help guide to make adjustments.

  161. Yeah but Jesus wasn't. And what part of the Popes message praised a poorly functioning yet very expensive bureaucracy.

  162. Didn't Jesus say, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars"? In other words, obey the law of the land. Don't violate US immigration laws and then expect amnesty when caught.

  163. Too bad we have to politicize the Pope's messages.

  164. I'm glad that the Pope praised the Bishops, despite the indignation of the survivors. We've heard plenty of negative comments about the Church because of the priest sex scandal. Catholics have had to sit silently while their Church is denounced on a daily basis. The Pope was smart and sensitive to acknowledge the ordeal the Bishops have been through. It cannot have been easy for them.

    I'm sure this sympathetic comment will draw fire.

  165. Yes the ordeal of filing bankruptcy and hiding as much ill gotten gains as they could from the courts.The ordeal of covering up the truth that this church is a cult of homosexuality and pedophilia and has been since it's inception. The ordeal of 2000 years of insidious corruption and evil put upon mankind that has no historical equal. This man with all his good intentions would better serve mankind and especially the dis-enfranchised and poor to dissolve this abomination of a church and give away all of it's wealth and property to the fools it stole it from.

  166. The Pope should have criticized those bishops that tried to protect the criminal priests. The Pope should have also apologized to the victims.

  167. Disagreement, perhaps, but fire? You flatter yourself.

    Look, when churches are denounced, they usually deserve it. I really do not understand the mentality that thinks religious beliefs are automatic shields for bigotry, prejudice, and abuse. The Pope might have shown wisdom in acknowledging the bishops' suffering, but the fact remains that the Church has an awful lot of work to do to make up for its indifference to the suffering many of its members caused.

    The Pope knows that. How odd many of his followers do not.

  168. If the GOP refuses to take political and economic advice from the Pope, then why should we take any advice about morality and religion from the GOP?

  169. The Pope has to raise funds as his main job duty. Just keep that in mind in the positions he supports. Climate change, poverty programs and immigration are all huge sources of revenue to various non-profit organizations. Plus the Catholic Relief Services are funded big time by the Federal Government. So the Pope has to kiss up to Obama as he is wooing his funding source.
    I don't judge the man, I just look at what he needs to do as the CEO of his organization to make it survive.

  170. The Catholic Church is not perfect, that's for sure, and over-population is an issue drastically in need of review. But Rome wasn't changed in a day, so please don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. This new Pope offers rare and refreshing new hope for the future. I'm thrilled and grateful for his attention to climate change, predatory capitalism and over-consumption. These are words the first world, esp. the USA, needs to hear.

    If you've ever read the New Testament it is easy to recognize the values of this warm, loving, humble man come straight from the words and values of Jesus Christ. As such, the degree to which the GOP despises him is telling. But then Jesus Christ himself was jeered, tortured and crucified by similar types.

    Even as an agnostic, I love Pope Francis, and hope his influence is strong and pervasive. If only he could run for President!

  171. Has the Pope or any other Catholics made the connection between poverty and poor people not having access to contraception? FYI its plain as day obvious to just about everyone that's not Catholic. I mean really, when desperately poor people can't afford to feed and shelter themselves, and the children they already have, it makes it that much harder when they have a few more. Contraception also lowers the abortion rate. I believe this is as big a problem as the sex scandals for a lot of the churches critics.

  172. Yes this is the biggest part of the problem. The church will not admit that or will they give up their billions even trillions to help those families.

  173. Fther Serra was from the Island of Mallorca (Majorca as it is sometimes spelled).

    People like those from Catalonia feel as though they are different than "Spanish" On the island of Mallorca, although, I cannot recall the name of the village, replicas of all the missions are on display. It is a tourist site currently.

    That said, Father Serra and the missions built (Monterey, Santa Barbara to San Diego) used native American Indians (in Santa Barbara, the Chumash) against their will to build these structures. Essentially, in the process of extinguishing the original California native Indians, they local enslaved them to build religious monuments to a faith the locals did not understand or wish to be a part of. The Chumash became extinct.

    Sometimes, the believe in the best intentions goes very wrong. Sound familiar?

  174. This country committed genocide, even at the Federal level, against
    indigenous peoples. Many sought refuge in Canada.
    To blame an individual is totally hypocritical.

  175. Their were no best intentions the Spanish who invaded Mexico knew well what would happen when they exposed the Indians to the medical problems and they well knew what slavery would do to help them become valued to the Spanish government while they were trying to consume the lands of the Indians.
    It was well documented by Cortes.

  176. The Catholic Church has as little to do with the teachings of Jesus as the American Government has to do with freedom and liberty. Yes, I am a Catholic who has spent some time at Vatican City and have reflected on how nuns teaching His Holy Word were the real connection. Priests were only there to count the collection baskets.The Pope is the needle of the moral compass that all Catholics want to point towards True North. That is all.

  177. not the nuns that taught at my parochial school. Most of them were sadists.

  178. inspiring and encouraging to finally have a Pope that is truly in touch with his flock, something Washington could use some schooling on. It will be interesting to see the response of the Pope's address to the Roman court that is Congress these days - and if the Pontius Pilates of the GOP can transcend their bankrupt ideology and self-interest to genuinely re-discover their professed christian faith. I'm not hopeful in that regard but I am proud that Obama gets it and gives this Pope the respect he not only deserves but has earned.

  179. I think it's a huge contradiction to indict "Unbridled Capitalism"for the exploitation of workers and income inequality, while at the same time conducting a Beatification Serramony for a Franciscan, who enslaved, whipped, and murdered indigenous Indians in 18th century California.

  180. The two things you contrast are not logically equivalent.

  181. A well planned publicity campaign stunt today:

    '...A 5-year-old girl borrowed the spotlight from Pope Francis at his procession around the Ellipse in Washington on Wednesday...Her name is Sofía Cruz. She is the American-born daughter of Mexican [illegal] immigrants in California, and she somehow got through the barricades and headed toward the pope.

    'Pope Francis, I want to tell you that my heart is sad and I would like to ask you to speak with the president and the Congress in legalizing my parents because every day I am scared that one day they will take them away from me.

    I believe I have the right to live with my parents. I have the right to be happy. My dad works very hard in a factory galvanizing pieces of metal.

    All immigrants just like my dad need this country. They deserve to live with dignity. They deserve to live with respect.

    They deserve an immigration reform because it benefits my country and because they have been working hard harvesting oranges, watermelons, carrots, onions, spinach and other vegetables.'

    She *somehow* got through the barricades? And we are supposed to believe a five year old wrote this?

    The only reason the Catholic Church is pro illegal immigration is that they know the US taxpayers will be on the hook for supporting these families, as any child born on US soil is entitled to 18 years of welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and subsidized housing for the entire family.

    And, of course, they need to keep those pews and coffers filled.

  182. With the tens of thousands of law enforcement personnel lining the parade route, doubt the Vatican staged that. But I can believe her parents sent her out when the pope passed by. And it worked out great- the compelling photos and subsequent interviews.

    So the pope was receptive to the little girl- who wouldn't be? The pope agrees with their message. So do I- one on the few things I agree with the Catholic Church. This country was founded on illegal immigration. From day one to today. Immigrants, legal and not contribute to America, and eventually become citizens.

    Sorry, Faux News is behind the times, yes American kids get food and housing subsides, but they are prorated, based on number of American family members. The money helps but won't pay the grocery or rent. That caddy-driving welfare queen vision was from the 1990's.

  183. Reply to FSM: Cut to the heart of the matter. Even if this were true, though I think it's a bit of an elaborate scheme, what would it matter? The desire for the dignity and security that work imparts is so basic to us all. It fosters family, peace, and the imagination and energy that have made this country unique and vibrant. The paths that people take to satisfy their spiritual needs aren't relevant. Imagine subtracting from this country today the contributions of the huge number of early-to-mid 20th century Catholic immigrant Irish, Polish, Italians, Czechs, Germans, Russians, Mexicans, Cubans--or the Asian practitioners of Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism (builders of railroads and much else). Or the innovations of the vast numbers of Jews from the same period. What blessings! What would you take away?

  184. I agree, that was just so staged and over the top.

    Funny how he didn't seem to connect the treatment of indigenous people in the New World with the present day racist Central American and Mexican elites of European ancestry who are essentially helping to drive out their poor populations of mostly Native American indigenous descent.

  185. Pope Francis has been talking about very important problems that people have been ignoring. Immigrants, global warming and materialistic capitalism.
    Most service industries, and nearly all extractive industries are immune to climate shifts.
    Natural disasters are reaction for our own actions and actually people act like they don’t care about it, and I think people could have many different ideas about immigration because it is a very extended topic.

  186. I love this pope's compassionate messages. He could do a lot for people worldwide by supporting modern birth control. He could also grow the Catholic church and its message by allowing priests to marry.

  187. if the Pope wants to set an example on climate change, he should stop burning huge quantities of jet fuel to fly around the globe

    if the Pope wants to set an example on inequality, he should sell off all the assets of the Vatican and distribute the proceeds to the poor

    if the Pope wants to set an example on immigration, he should set up tents inside and outside the Sistine chapel

    charity - and responsibility - begin at home

  188. Hopefully that will occur on the same day the Republican Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader set up tents on Capitol Hill for the homeless.

  189. “Harsh and divisive language does not befit the tongue of a pastor; it has no place in his heart,” he said. “Although it may momentarily seem to win the day, only the enduring allure of goodness and love remains truly convincing.”

  190. Me, I have mixed feelings.

    It's easy to say...



    I love art,

    and I appreciate the art that I can seen at the Vatican museum,
    and the grandeur I can feel being in a cathedral.

    It's a question.. one could ask?

    Is always better to have 100 day-care centers

    rather than having a Vatican Museum? a Metropolitan Museum of Art?

    obviously, it's a balance...

    but, there is something to be said for the museums & the cathedrals, for the symphonies and operas...; for the up-lifting of art;

    to have museums, to have cathedrals, to have art,

    that enriches everyone.

  191. I completely admire Pope Francis, he has elevated the true mission of Christ in spreading a message of hope and peace, however, Jesus spend much of his time on this earth with women and they were active in his work, why does the church have a prayer meeting with just the bishops? Why are women not elevated in the same way? In this context, we are not unlike the very religions that oppress women around the world by denying us leadership roles and viewed as valued members of the church's mission. Perhaps we can hope that Francis will begin this dialogue so that we truly living the way Christ taught us.

  192. Really? How many of the Apostles were women?

  193. Comrade- its because of the culture at the time- antiquated, superstitious, violent, male-dominate culture- that's why he didn't have women as disciples- he would have been killed much sooner if he had any women disciples.

  194. One, Mary Magdalene, conveniently ignored & subordinated since the misogynist Paul. Jesus was a rebel, and that included rebelling against the misogynist practices of Judaism. Why this hatred & fear of women?

  195. The Pomp and Pageantry of the Pope s Cavalcade is both spectacular and a spectacle. It is extraordinarily beautiful and extraordinarily expensive. His travels and his security consume huge amounts of tax payers money. It could be better spent on charity and social services. Monks in Buddhism and Acharyas or Gurus in Hinduism live extremely frugal lives, some walking barefeet, with nothing but two saffron cloths to cover their bodies, and eat little...while they impart amazing wisdom.

    The Pope s message has been around for the last thirty years. There are social workers, social activists, environmentalists, scientists, ethical people, caring people, honest people and visionaries who have been saying for decades what the Pope just started saying. The church is about 30 years behind on issues concerning global poverty, disparity and rights of indigenous people ; 50 years behind science, environmental issues and inequality research, and 500 years behind when it comes to women s equality and reproductive rights.

    Not exactly a timely man. But he is nice, and there are people who only listen to him. That might make some difference.

  196. @Mark Schaeffer on earth: the church is never "behind" on poverty. Starting with Jesus, the church has always been in the slums, ghettos, and barrios working with the poorest of the poor (the Pope visited the "Little Sisters of the Poor," an order which has been around for ages; there is also Catholic Charities; other denominations has a variety of social service agencies and mission agencies working around the world doing everything from starting schools in poor areas to digging wells, establishing medical clinics and working for maternal-child health. The "social gospel" movement early in the 20th century opened neighborhood houses to tend to the needs of poor youth. As far back as the Middle Ages it was the church which ran the only hospitals for the poor as they were dying. The list goes on and on.

  197. If I curse on this they will not print it so my answer is simply this. I gave pennies to the poor when I was in Catholic school that the poor never saw. And as a very poor child the church constantly wanted money to send to Rome. The poor built the church and the billions even trillions of dollars they have stored in Rome. When will the church give up some of their money for the poor the poor they created because they dont allow birth control.

  198. We do not have control over who our ancestors chose to lead. It could be president or Pope, those chosen made the choices to ignore or create issues for future generations. What matters is that someone is doing something NOW.

    Now for the cavalcade you describe:
    1) The pope doesn’t own a plane. Vatican charters a jet for trips three to four times a year.

    2) The Pope travels with an entourage of 30 people; The Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin; one or two other cardinals and bishops; 10 priests, most of them officials of the Secretariat of State; and 20 laity, most employees of the Vatican Press Office as well as plainclothes agents of the Vatican security service and the two Swiss Guard officers.

    3) The security detail that you are seeing is being conducted by the Secret Service. It is the cities in the Pope's visit that has coordinated and paid for the cavalcade.

    4) He does not live in the Vatican palace but in a small guest house. He doesn't don the red Papal shoes, but regular white ones. He doesn't drive around in a limo, but a small Fiat. He like few other Pope's before him, have not indulged in the wealth and extravagance that other leaders - religious or political have done both past and present.

  199. The Republican right has stooped to new lows in its strident and unfounded criticisms of Pope Francis.

    What Frances has said about climate change and our stewardship of God's creation is exactly what Popes John Paul II and Benedict had said before the UN on several occasions.

    What Francis has said about fair distribution of the world's wealth, worker protections, access to health care and for a preferential option for the poor goes back even farther to other Popes.

    Pope Francis acknowledges traditional teachings of the Church but says the Church has spent too much time and had too much temporal concern for certain issues to the exclusion of and possible denigration of others and calls for more good works as a continued wxpression of the Gospels of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Pope Francis has gone so far as to decry Church activities he sees as too far afield from traditional good works and urged some to pay taxes if they want to be involved both in and of the world.

    I see Pope Francis as a fresh expression of the challenges we Roman Catholic Christians face in the modern world. I accept those challenges and will test my faith with good works so as to leave the world better than I found it and to better take care of my brothers and sisters while I am here. I will strive to better be a proper example for my children, so they too might find God's grace and dwell in His presence thereafter.

    Oh, and I won't vote for a Republican on a lost bet.

  200. You can care for your brothers and sisters.
    While the pope wears his fancy robes and the Roman Catholic church hordes billions of dollars and you see no poor living in the castles they built in Rome do you. No when the Pope and the Roman church give up their hoards of money that will amount to billions even trillions of dollars.
    And look at italy it is one of the poorest countries in the world even with its art and huge buildings. And what was the worst country in the world towards women Italy.

  201. okay, we all know for some time now that climate change is real along with the other issues raised by the Pope. but question still remains on the solutions to all the problems. we have only been talking about them. where are the solutions? what are the solutions? how can we mend all the exploitation and plunders that have taken place for centuries? is there really a hope for a better tomorrow or is it too late? and even if there is hope, who will guide us?

  202. Ironically, all three issues (poverty, climate change and immigration) are in synch with the Democratic Party's values, even though most of the strongly religious and faithful align themselves with the Republicans.

  203. Unfortunately, increasing immigration to the developed world leads to massively increased consumption and the prospects of increasing climate change.

    Immigration is not really a solution to any of the world's problem. It is more of a consequence.

  204. Funny how both the Times and the editorially neo-conservtive WAPO's coverage of Pope Francis's White House visit missed the discreet but unmistakeable boost the Pope gave to the opening to Cuba and the Iran nuclear deal when he said “The efforts which were recently made to mend broken relationships and to open new doors to cooperation within our human family represent positive steps along the path of reconciliation, justice and freedom”

    For those concerned that the Pope didn't give a pastoral boost to political openness in Cuba, please take into account that he went beyond "reconciliation" to highlight "justice and freedom", which are not features of the current Cuban regime. I don't want to turn the Pope's pastoral visit into political science 101 (Francis came here as pastor) but the Church played a role in the Spanish transition to democracy. Perhaps it can do the same in Cuba.

  205. The Pope's words are being politically cherry-picked. He ale mentioned religious liberty and even visited the Little Sisters of the Poor to show support for them in their lawsuit with the Obama Administration.

    There's currency in using this Pope to beat up on republicans. That's why so many keep selecting parts of this message and promoting it. Anyone truly aware of the Pope's intentions and words would feel badly manipulating them -- that is, anyone with an ounce of dignity.

  206. Climate change. Immigration. Poverty. No doubt the top three issues of our day. Why isn't he running for the Republican nomination for President?

  207. Not Republican issues.

  208. "The Pope represented compassion -- who can fault that?" The Republican party live now to do it

  209. Climate change polls near the bottom ten across the U.S. and Europe. Economic growth, job opportunities, healthcare costs and education are far more pressing issues.

  210. The Pope represented compassion -- who can fault that? No one. He is courageous and responsive in his views: it's a virtue.

  211. So was John Paul II, and he was a conservative who decidedly turned a blind eye to pedophile priests. Francis isn't much better.

  212. I'm a little annoyed that that kid was "somehow" able to get past the barriers and security to get near the Pope.

    That's all.


  213. What's to wonder? Her dad set her down over the barrier with a letter and a T-shirt. The rest was a matter of luck, timing and irresistible cuteness.

  214. 1. Lack of birth control and equality for women
    2. Overpopulation and sexual abuse
    3. Poverty, Migration, War, Environmental Destruction

    Without addressing 1 above, nothing else matter.

  215. Exactly --without birth control, all the rest seems wishful thinking. The Church is not interested in birth control, but not because of doctrinal reasons but because so long as there are impoverished and needy individuals, it will have a basis to build on its power.

  216. Yes and lets look at the churches stand on women and pregnancy! Women who are pregnant and go to a catholic hospital are putting their lives in jeopardy. The teaching of the church is simply this the child over the woman who carries it! Example while in classes with both a brother, priest and nun.
    What happens father when a woman is pregnant and goes to deliver her baby in the hospital if her life is in jeopardy because of the child and taking the child will save her life what should be done? And the answer by the learned people in the class teaching the class. Kill the mother the child must live.
    Or how about the man that goes to his priest to find out the order of life. The priest tells him Your home your animals your children and lastly your wife in that order.
    Or how about the teachings of the church a woman who goes against her husband can be stoned to death in the churches square for her sins against her husband.
    Or why is it the church while we are seeing the cause of pollution both air and water is mostly from people on the planet. We have an over population on our planet. China has many more people than they can feed. India has many more people than it can support. The USA and Europe also have many more people than we and our planet can support but the church still sticks with its teaching that birth control is wrong and a sin against the god they profess to be listening to.
    I say this stop putting false gods in front of us like the pope and the nuns and the priest

  217. Poverty and Climate two topics Republicans would rather ignore, and pretend their hardest didn't exist at all.

  218. Yet, Republicans are vastly more charitable than Democrats. Wonder why?

  219. With an exceptional moral halo and command Pope Francis seems to have wetting or unwittingly set an agenda for the current UN General Assembly session and the upcoming Paris Climate change summit by forcefully articulating his views on the fiercely debated controversial issues of the day, namely, poverty, climate change, and immigration. It's a test for the world leaders as to how they react to the challenge posed by the Pope.

  220. to have wetting or unwittingly set an agenda for the current UN General Assembly session and the upcoming Paris Climate change summit by forcefully articulating his views on the fiercely debated controversial issues of the day, namely, poverty, climate change, and immigration. It's a test for the world leaders as to how they react to the challenge posed by the Pope.

  221. General Assembly session and the upcoming Paris Climate change summit by forcefully articulating his views on the fiercely debated controversial issues of the day, namely, poverty, climate change, and immigration. It's a test for the world leaders as to how they react to the challenge posed by the Pope.

  222. I hope the Pope addresses religious liberty again. He is obviously very familiar with the issue here in the US having visited the Little Sisters of the Poor.

    In his appeal to protect starving children and those victimized by war, immigrants in search of a better life, the burdensome elderly and sick, victims of terrorism, wars, violence and drug trafficking, and the devastated environment -- he also included the unborn.

    He doesn't make the distinctions "not real life" or "not yet life." He has a protective and view of all that has been created by God.

    The statement "All Lives Matter" could easily be attributed to him.

  223. I just can't get excited about this man who spent part of the afternoon "to canonize Junípero Serra, a Franciscan who founded missions across California in the 1700s."

    Serra accompanied conquistadores into California to humiliate and terrorize the indigenous people there and force them to convert to Catholicism (what in the world could anything in their history or culture have in common with Catholicism?). "Founded missions" seems so innocent; it never was. Maybe it was the work he was allowed to do for the Inquisition in New Spain that gives him special status.

    Not that declaring anyone a saint makes any sense at all, but this particular choice is definitely not something that should happen in the 21st century.

  224. These criticisms of Serra are based on an inaccurate knowledge of history. Without the missions that he and other friars founded, the natives in California would have been totally wiped out by the Spanish and Mexicans; in the missions they were protected from slavery, rape, and murder. Of course they were strongly encouraged to become Catholics (the Church has always prohibited forced conversions) and the regime in the missions was paternalistic--this was the 18th century folks, not the 21st. By all accounts Serra was a selfless person and devoted to his flock, his accomplishments should be celebrated in the context of their time, not subjected to current PC standards. I say this not as a Catholic or a Christian, but as a student of that period.

  225. I love Pope Francis' manner. He's very thoughtful and deliberate. I want to thank him for saying "God Bless America" at his speech at the White House because we sorely need his blessings and others because evil is exploiting the vast good of America.

    Keep following Jesus and you won't go wrong. Not only did Jesus' lessons teach us right and wrong, but he also taught billions to lead their lives righteously. Billions did.

  226. I don't know about you but I'm already Pope'ed-out out.

  227. You can Google any religion, group or whatever and read pages of reports on sexual abusers. Throwing stones at the church for sexual abuse, when their are scads of other abusers out there is SO old.
    And these victims and their families……. bankrupting churches and dioceses…… funny how $$$$$ calms their anger and forgets their rage.
    All comes down to what you can get for your pain. Sounds to me like a lot of people were put to the test…… and FAILED!

  228. Hooray! The Pope is here. Everything will be all right now. Admittedly, this Pope at least got around to visiting a lot more of his flock than his predecessors but I'm afraid it would take God himself to fix everything, ANYTHING that is wrong with this country and the world. God, I hear, is away and is letting Jesus stand in for him. Well Jesus? What now?

  229. May the prayers of this good Pope - the world’s greatest statesman and I’s first true reformer in a generation - and the power of President Obama - the world’s only forward-looking political leader - succeed in bringing some sanity to the discourse on how to arrest the wars, terrorism and hatred that have been let loose on the world.

  230. Enough Coverage! This is not the only thing going on in the world. What about the clergy molesting boys? That's not news anymore! Maybe he should clean his own first house before worrying about the rest of the planet....

  231. Pope Francis seems to be broadly loved and accepted as the most forward seeing head of the Catholic church perhaps since Pope Paul's short reign. As a non-Catholic I hope that he will eventually come to express contrition for a past of persecution of those that would not convert to Catholicism and the child abuse that goes back over 100 years, the quiescence during the Nazi era although there are many examples of Jewish children being sheltered in Catholic schools and homes. This Pope has an opportunity to work toward healing of many issues. Climate change and unbridled capitalism is just a start. I am brought to tears by this humble man who does not live behind steel enclosures and rides in a humble black Fiat, kisses the head if a child and is unafraid to address 21st century problems.

  232. Climate change, immigration and poverty. The top three subjects on which the GOP either has no clue or doesn't give a whit. What frightening proof that all those self-proclaimed GOP Christians wouldn't know Jesus if He bit them on the ear.

  233. RE: Pope Francis;


    It's always so easy to shoot-down those who try to be good, and aren't quite perfect; while giving a total free-pass to those who do evil, those who don't even try to be good.
    At least this man tries.
    Is he perfect? NO!

    But, at least he tries !