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: 82

  1. This week, the Dalai is not my BFF.
    Its the Pope.
    You make me a better man, papa!

  2. Sorry, I just don't get it.

    Francis may be well intended. I would be more inclined to believe if I didn't see the staging, the pope mobile, the crowds waving, etc. This is all well orchestrated and clearly planned.

    If the Pope wants to make me a believer, he should sell all that the Catholic Church has and give it to the poor. After all, that is what Jesus taught. The Catholic Church must throw out all of the priests who are guilty of sexual abuse and settle with the victims. Divorce should never be bought through an annulment. Etc.

    There is a lot the Pope is not talking about in his own house. When I not only hear that but see results, I will listen more closely when he talks about what is wrong in mine.

    I am glad the Pope is here. I wish all Catholics well. Enjoy the moment.

  3. Last chance saloon. It is serendipitous that Pope Francis is in the halls of power at this time of global upheaval, chiding those whose policies are self-serving, reminding elected representatives and leaders they are servants of the people, while making qualified spiritual statements on the condition of the planet both environmentally and socially.

    He walks his talk. Listen to him.

  4. what the US does is really none of his business/ we are not a catholic nation

  5. 1. Beautiful, the most memorable image that will be remembered forever, 5-year old Sofia Cruz on her second attempt, getting over the barricades and Pope Francis gesturing she be allowed to meet with him. Well done, Secret Service, for facilitating it!
    And, she didn't stop there. Ensured he got her letter and T-shirt. First woman president with Mexican ancestry, maybe, 2055!
    2. "As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families."
    3. Endorsement for diplomacy not war, the engagement with Cuba, with Iran.
    Not a good day at all for Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz....in fact, nearly the entirety of the Republican Party.

  6. LindaP - Some context, please. These "baubles" at the Vatican do not belong to Pope Francis or to any pope, for that matter, to auction off to the highest bidder. They were acquired hundreds of years ago at a different point in time in the Church's history when popes were sovereigns. A sovereign demonstrated his power, wealth, discerned learning and good taste, in part, through his art collection. If Pope Francis were alive back then, he would no doubt remind the papal hierarchy to forgo the commissions and concentrate on the poor. In any case, the artworks are now part of the Vatican Museums' collection. Like any private or public museum, the collection is governed by legal statutes, and boards and trustees who ensure its preservation and accessibility for future generations. Art historians, researchers, students and visitors of multifaiths (or none) continue to enjoy interacting with the art and find it inspiring. Some perhaps are reminded of the Almighty manifesting itself in the talents of the artists when they gaze upon the unique pieces. Others have a "secular" appreciation of what they see. I'm assuming you found the opulence "disgusting," and not the actual artworks themselves. Fair enough. Although it is a worthy cause to care for the poor, I don't believe it is in society's interest to deaccession museum collections in order to do so. Art, especially the masterpieces that remain in the public domain, feed another part of our souls and imagination.

  7. Pope Francis' view that we must urgently address climate change and his urging us to make greater efforts to help the poor are useful to the extent that he can sway others. His views on immigration are unhelpful to the extent that they suggest a nation has either a moral or legal obligation to permit immigration, except as a matter of its law and as it conceives of its own best interest, and will ultimately fail to the extent that he would, at least as in the case of Europe today, falsely authorize what is tantamount to an invasion, that defies the reasonable and just expectation that the nation where one goes to sleep will be substantially the same nation that one awakes to.

    However, what has escaped the NYT's reporting here was Pope Francis' message to his bishops on gay marriage and abortion, where he did not forbid their opposition to gay marriage and abortion but reaffirmed their and the Church's traditional teaching, suggesting only a tactical change in tone but not priority or moral precepts. I have several tabs open on my browser reporting this, which the NYT incompetently failed to report.

    Now, I disagree with the Church's opposition to abortion, and though I share its and its Pope's opposition to homosexual marriage, being an atheist, I do so for very different reasons. Nonetheless, the NYT not reporting what the Pope said on these issues and the clear implications of it is inexcusable in anything calling itself a newspaper, much less the paper of record.

  8. The Pope also waded into the treatment of indigenous peoples by the conquistadores, and in canonizing Junipero Serra, he came out on the wrong side of humility, justice, honor, decency, and history.

  9. Subconsciously I'm beginning to get drawn to my Christian roots.....I dont know if Pope Francis has anything to do with it .....I truly like the man and his message more so.......

  10. I really respect Pope Francis' messages in the form of living what you preach and I admire his willingness to raise issues from the more disenfranchised voices. However, I am saddened that he does not also choose the pedophile issue from his own house as part of his campaign (perhaps more generally sexual abuse of the vulnerable and personal responsibility That would certainly send a powerful message of no tolerance.

  11. The USA welcomes the worshipped advocate of superstitious, submissive thinking ...
    Pope Francis knows, that the miracles of the holy books are obsolete. People can can fly high in the skies, print 3D objects, walk on water or even on air, and video communication with true 3d projection and immaculate birth is probably just around the corner. Francis needs new miracles, new holy missions (like climate changes) and science is going to deliver those to him one buy one! It already seems, that science will make the christian cult, and the cult’s influence to peoples daily life stronger then ever. Anyone who have seen the Polanski movie “The Fearless Vampire Killers” knows what I exactly mean.

  12. Yes, those issues are important but why did he leave out the right to life? Nothing should be higher on the agenda then to stop the killing of the unborn. Taking aim a society like the US that murder's its children would seem to rank first in Francis's quest to practice the Gospel. I was deeply saddened.

  13. Perhaps the Pope could put the Church's wallet where his mouth is, and ban the US Church from selling land for oil leases as it's doing at the moment...?

    Not gonna happen though, is it, any more than cleaning the Church of paedophile priests and properly compensating the victims.

    Talk is cheap, Frankie boy, particularly in the US..

  14. "...message on climate change, immigration and poverty that ranged from the pastoral to the political".

    Simple. Zero Population Growth on a fragile planet.
    or "Thou Shalt Not Covet..."

  15. It is great to have the Pope in our vast land of USA.

    Hope the Pope can facilitate conversation between Putin and the western world.

    It is imperative that Syria crisis be dealt with and frank dialog need to be arranged between all affected parties.

    We could not have another year of destruction in the Middle East.

  16. It is hard to practice Catholicism or any religion for that matter. The daily grind of reality and life makes it hard to "feel the divine" and "feel closer to God".

    I hope the visit of Pope Francis puts us Catholics in a joyful spiritual mood. Like going to that perfect Sunday mass when the priest connected to your heart, the choir's singing lifted you to the heavens and the people sitting next to you really meant "peace with you". But 1000 times more.

  17. Until the pope purges his house of sexual predators, he can keep his spiritual and especially his political platitudes to himself, thank you very much...

  18. IMMIGRATION to the U.S. by the half-billion of world poor who say they want to go there, if they were lifted out of POVERTY, would result in large increases of CO2 and CLIMATE CHANGE.

    We all want good things to happen, but if the planet is to have a reasonable chance our leaders must address population, which is expected to soar in Africa from 1 billion to 4 billion by 2100. Global corporations fund the current happy talk endless growth policy which has dominated for decades, but unfortunately it is leading to environmental disaster.

  19. Who cares what an unelected old man in a white robe thinks or says. He is nothing to me, I am not catholic and many catholics disagree with him too.

    Before he criticizes America he should focus on the corruption and mess in latin America which is a horrifically dangerous catholic region to live !
    Crooked fat cat politicians, drug cartels and psychotic gangs like Mexico and El Salvador,etc. mass shootings daily in Venezuela and Brazil.
    The Philippines also is a terribly corrupt catholic country as is mafia
    (cosa nostra) Sicily and other parts of Italy right on the Vatican's doorstep !

    In fact he should stick his nose OUT of America and the West and start criticizing catholic organized corruption and crime not to mention pedophilia which happens right up to the Vatican too !

    I never could understand why so many people and the media pay any attention at all to those ailing old popes !

  20. I invite the Pope to pay my share of the coming carbon tax and fervently hope that he will show his compassion by settling 200,000 migrants in and around the Vatican.

  21. As for this Pope's fast track canonization of Fr. Serra, that man was from Spain, a white man, not a Hispanic as the reporter who wrote the other times article failed to acknowledge. I didn't know the Pope was so in a rush to make this guy a saint, a guy who tortured Native Americans into converting or face death or more torture. Then again this Pope has failed in his mission to prosecute or turn over for civil prosecution those hundreds of priests for child molestation. Canonizing a sadistic priest; shielding pedophile priests, all in the name of Jesus and spreading the word. What is wrong with this (Catholic) picture?

  22. Francis does it quietly, no loudmouth he, but he stands up to all the GOP candidates & their billionaire owners & their tea party base. He's no coward & his messages can't be mistaken or twisted. His mistake is when he continues to subordinate women, just as they do.

  23. Rome was not built in "two years", give him some time. He has already gotten to many issues and will get to this one. No need alienate all the "boys of the band" and send them into collective shock.

  24. It's relatively easy to get on board with the Pope on climate change and poverty. Either issue is personal for all Americans; and failure as a nation to act upon these is damaging to our society. But the call to our better angels on immigration is one we should not listen to. In fact the openness Francis expects of us on immigration is equally destructive to our society.

    Accepting the millions who seek to enter the US and Europe is not a solution to the world's problems. Rather it's a temporary safety valve which permits those countries abusing its citizens to escape responsibility for inhumane behavior. All the while it places an extraordinary burden on recipient countries - both short and long term. There is no reason our leaders should be piling on this burden when we have already allowed more than enough to alter the entire framework and culture of our nation for the worse of its law abiding citizens.

  25. This gloriously elected pope represents the popularity of feudalism in our smart phone age.

    Global warming, income envy -- why can't he downplay this Jesus son of god stuff and just hop onto the Bernie Sander's campaign.

    Remember, during the Middle Ages, there was no global warming, since most were trembling in the dark and there was little income disparity, since so little income anyhow.

    I love these 'spiritual leaders.' They can deploy their fairy tales to bring us such comfort, demanding only a tithe of our wealth to keep them happy!

  26. Pope Francis echoes a distant past when great leaders like Kennedy made efforts to help the most vulnerable and those without a voice. The main focus of Pope Francis is to uplift the poor; he has single-handedly put the poor and the issue of poverty back on center stage, on a global level.
    In a recent article in the NYT called "A Humble Pope, Challenging the World", Jim Yardley provides a powerful reflection on the life and work of Pope Francis, who should be nominated for the Nobel Peace prize.

  27. This man's visit has certainly overturned a number of rocks. At the very least it's allowed some self-satisfied bigots in one cause or another to peddle their -- perhaps agenda based -- disapproval on these pages

    From the tone of some, it must be wonderful to believe oneself perfect; but on the other hand, it might do well to take a closer look closer to home; and after doing that, to "heal thyself" first.

  28. Pope Franciis exhorts humanity to cherish its home, the earth, and each other, a simple, homely and familiar message. But one that falls mainly on deaf ears in a country mainly devoted to its real religion of greed and money worship, a faith supplanted by avid attention to professional sports with their questionable players and a steadfast reliance on internet porn and readily available chemicals to alter one's mental state. One wonders if the human race should not simply implode somehow and start over again, or let a more sentient species, like the marine mammals, become the dominant ones. We're hopeless.

  29. The three human projects antithetical to the republicans...

  30. Expressing concern for the poor without addressing the desperate need for all effective methods of family planning is utter hypocrisy. I cannot understand why people allow themselves to be dominated by this institution. It absolutely baffles me. This pope says a lot of nice things, but he'll never admit how much suffering was, is, and will be caused by the church's stubborn refusal to address the realities of human sexuality and every woman's need to determine her destiny by, in part, controlling her reproductive life. We have accelerated the decimation of thousands of species. Don't they care at ALL about "God's" creation?

  31. I think Pope Francis is laying the groundwork for more changes. He's started with things we don't necessarily see clearly, but they are shaking the foundation of the Church. The changes we want won't happen soon and he probably won't be the one to make them, but I believe that there is movement in that direction. Let's hope the next pope will be of a similar bent.

  32. It's easy to see why so many people around the world have, regardless of their own beliefs or lack thereof, come to sincerely respect and appreciate this good man's heart and mind. And I'm certainly no exception.

    Which makes it all the more frustrating that someone that's as genuinely concerned about the poor, about the planet, and (by inference) about Spanish speaking immigrants as he clearly is can somehow fail to make the direct and glaringly obvious connection between those 3 issues and the fact that he and his Church are still officially forbidding their 1.2 billion followers from using anything other than the calendar, their willpower, and... literally!... a prayer to determine how many more people are brought into an already dangerously overcrowded and over-stressed world.

    That's to say, if and when he and his bishops finally change the Church's antiquated and, frankly, seriously irresponsible prohibition on birth control (abortion clearly being 'a bridge to far' at this point, with the Vatican's 'old guard' reportedly already unhappy with him), then we'll know that this courageous and caring man is serious about turning things around, in both word and deed.

  33. Apparently, the Pope's call for "religious liberty" was missed by the NYT.

  34. The Pope is sadly misguided.

  35. Pope Francis is focusing on some of our nation and the world issues climate change, immigration and poverty. Whenever corporations profits are more important than these issues that is a concern. When those who fund to elections are more interested continuing to do what they do without change or considering their affects on the world and protecting their work buying politicans. They are morally and ethically wrong.

  36. More correct title would be Pope Francis, in Washington, Addresses Keeping the Poor Impoverish for Life

  37. Pope Francis Congress speech will be historical. The first non European leader of the Catholic Church raised in a special South American country, Argentina, A true believer in social justice and convinced that a third world war is under way. In sum, a pope in the opposite ideological lane of mainstream American politics.

  38. It is important that Catholics in particular remember that, while the Pope is considered infallible in matters of faith and morals, when it comes to matters not solely involving faith or morals, or a combination of those characteristics with other values, such as political values, there is no infallibility. This does not mean the Pope cannot be an important force for change, but, when it comes to politics, he is just like the rest of us. His views deserve consideration but they do not carry the same weight as when they are confined to matters of faith or morals.

  39. The Pope says he is concerned about global warming, poverty, and other species but opposes human population control. What a colossal hypocrite.

  40. First and foremost I am thrilled at how Francis is becoming the voice of billions of souls (Catholic and non-Catholic alike) on things like climate change (despite the Flat Earth types in the Neo-conservative realm) and even more important the sinful and pathetic exploitation of the poor by the 1% of capitalists who are exstatic at raising life saving pills from $13 to $750 overnight because THAT is the way capitalism works?! For those who want to forever want to beat the drum incessantly on how the Church has failed in the past; that is your right. However to do so means you are pathetically blind to the wonderful messages of hope, peace, and LOVE that the Holy Father is all about. I was deeply moved when I listened to a muslim gentleman speak on C.N.N. yesterday about the deep respect he had for Pope Francis 1; and is that not what we all should be praying for; a healing of a bitterly divided hurting world at war with itself. Take the blinders off and truly listen to this great man if you have a true wish to be a peacemaker and humanitarian!

  41. With all due respect, this pope is meddling where he has no business and where he has no expertise - climate change. His remarks during his tours and the encyclical where he jumped on the climate change bandwagon has nothing to do with spiritual well being of his followers rather it fulfills his desire to help the poor. And in its simplest form, climate change creates laws and regulations that burdens developed (read capatilist) countries for the benefit of undeveloped (read poor) countries. Now how's that for a perfect political climate change fueled storm; internationational overnment regulatory and statutory taxing for wealth transfer to the poor.

    Not only will this crimp capitalist productivity - the most moral economic form known to man - because of its efficiency in producing wealth for all, it will keep poor countries poor as a result of what are international government engineered entitlement programs.

    Which is why our constitution separates church and state and hence why the pope has no business poking around in politics.

  42. I was happy to see and hear the Pope. What he is saying is we should be good citizens of the earth by taking care of our home and our fellow citizens. This is really opposite to what the GOP thinks as they feel the earth, our home, will take care of itself regardless of what we do and every person should fend for himself and herself and the strong and smart will rise up. I am looking forward to his address to congress today to see how the GOP folks react to him in person, especially the ones who love to always talk about God.

    I think he has missed one important point. Overpopulation is a major cause of misuse of our home, the earth, and the creation of large populations of people unable to take care of themselves and their families. I believe the church should not only allow but encourage and teach modern family planning methods to its flock and take part in providing contraceptives instead of blocking their use. If the Pope wants to challenge our government to act he should also act himself. Talk on both sides is cheap.

  43. Quite a few comments about the lack of equality for women in the Church and their inability to be a priest and by extension, a bishop, cardinal, pope. As if being a priest is the zero-sum game. I feel these comments belie the invaluable contribution of the women religious (nuns, sisters and female lay people) who exercise serious leadership roles in parishes and missions. Without their contributions and support, the Church would not be able to function and generate the fruits of the Spirit in their communities - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

    The Church is not meant to be a kind of MNC with exclusive career appointments that feed the ego. This practice and attitude can occur because it is a human-run organisation and individuals are flawed, and perhaps approach their religious vocation thinking of their next career step rather than the people they need to serve. However, this Pope has demonstrated in his appointments and speeches that he wants the clergy to “be shepherds with the smell of the sheep’’ and not live in the sanctum of the ‘’corner office’’ in their parishes. The women religious and laypeople already embody this spirit.

    Can the Church improve the lot of women – absolutely. Comparatively speaking, it is already ahead of the other major religions that continue segregation between the sexes and limit female participation in rites.

  44. The Catholic church is the only religion in which women clerics don't have to dress up like dude clerics if they want to pursue a vocation. Anyone feeling the necessity to weigh in on the issue should consider this for a moment. They might wish to consider also that since they are celibate they enjoy a parity with male counterparts that is unimaginable in the secular world. With the conversion of two (more) Episcopal convents in the last five years I think the exclusively female clerisy is now exclusive to the orthodox church(es). I may be wrong about that

  45. If the Pope is serious about fighting climate change and poverty, he has to change the Church's teaching regarding contraception. Overpopulation is the root cause of both.

  46. What amazes me about the spectacle that surrounds the Pope's visit is the flood of humanity that is driven to catch even a glimpse of this man from miles away. And what will they do after they have gone all that way to catch this glimpse? They will go back to their communities and talk badly about their neighbors and coworkers, mistreat people with different color skin, and generally ignore the moral responsibility to be decent to other human beings. It doesn't matter if the Pope stepped out of his car and washed and kissed people's feet. If we don't understand that virtue begins with the smallest interactions we have with others, with the way we think about them, with the way we treat them, then no Pope's blessing will ever make a bit of difference in this world.

  47. In my humble opinion for the Church's penance and retribution to mankind for Its' indiscretions, putting it discreetly, should be to give back to each nation their stolen cultural artifacts and treasures that the Vatican holds, with interest.

    In addition, aiding these nation in setting up the infrastructure to house, to protect and to display for the world to view, boosting their economies and the self-esteem of the people of these nations.

    Them maybe the world could begin to believe that they are true followers of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    I am not enthusiastic about the Vatican releasing these stolen artifacts, because these Treasures would challenge their Church Doctrine, there in lies the problem.

    The shear hypocrisy of a professed, wealthy, Christian stepping over the needy and hungry to go into their House of Worship is another serious issue.

    I feel and believe that if more people/believers got up off their knees and actual spend that time helping the needy, they would be more in the Grace of The Creator.

  48. Wow the church in Rome has stolen property from the poor for Thousands of years. Now they want everyone else to support their mistakes and their way of thinking about the poor. We all do our part to the point of being poor ourselves while the church still has billions in property, art, Gold, silver. and of course money. And what did they do with all of that they kept it and made robes and hats and all kinds of accessories like golden crosses and candle holders and created elaborate vaults to store treasures in under ground and then they hire mercenaries to guard it and kill and maimed anyone that tries to get enough to buy a loaf of bread for their family.
    No I do not like or want to have to listen to more religious lies that the pope will put out.
    I will help or listen to the pope and the church if they give away the billions of dollars they have in their treasury to the poor. And if they right the wrongs they committed against children who were put in the trusted charge of religious or so called religious people.
    Example a priest who beat children with an 8 cell flashlight and put them in the hospital because he didn't like their attitude. Or how about the nun who beat the children with a umbrella that had a 3/4 inch shaft of oak. Or how about a Drunken pastor who tripped on this own robes and blamed it on the poor child who was over a foot away from him. And then beat the child unmercifully. Or how about the children who were accosted by and sexually abused by priest.

  49. I am the exception. I cannot support or respect a pope that violated his Jesuit vows of humility by accepting a post as pope. Moreover, he voices popular and uninformed perspectives just to gain the admiration of the world. This whole spectacle of his is very disappointing.

  50. Wow, it is so sad to see that over 90% of the comments are negative towards the pope. If he did not touch on your pet issue does that negate everything else he said?

    Give the guy a break, he is trying his best!

    As an atheist I am sure that the pope and I differ on a few issues but at least I am willing to listen without waiting to get my digs in on him. As a matter of fact, I don't have any because I know that he is actually a decent human being and no one is perfect.

  51. The Pope comes to Washington and the first thing he wants to talk about is global warming ? Really ??

  52. Well, assuming God wants to keep us around for a few more centuries, that sounds right.

  53. How many people believe the Fiat is a modest car since the Pope arrived? In 2010 you could buy a Versa for $10,000, but since the Recession, they actually cost $15K, about 50% more; and the Fiat costs $20,000. In 2008 we bought a whole Jeep Liberty for $20K. Room for 5 passengers and luggage, and able to get there in snow. Fiat as Folly and successful Marketing. Where does the Pope think the Catholic family will put the rest of their family when they go to see grandma?

  54. I am not a Catholic, but the Pope gives me hope that we can achieve a better world influenced by his spiritual leadership. I especially appreciate the fact that he puts the lightning rod issues of abortion and homosexuality in context with other problems we have as a society. The singular focus on these two issues has hurt the church and divided our nation. It is time for all to say, "who am I to judge"? As Christians we are told that God will be the ultimate judge, but we are also told that God is merciful and forgiving.

  55. Pope Francis' message is uplifting in its simplicity. Fairness, justice, compassion, humility, take care of Mother Earth and each other. He is talking about the basic principles of the Catholic faith which get lost in the vast sea of individualism, competitiveness, greed and materialism that surround us

  56. do you know how rich the Vatican is?

  57. Who cares how rich the Vatican is? It has to be to spread the word of God globally.

  58. No surprise the NYT skirts around the Pope's comments on the importance of religious liberty. which is increasingly under threat given the imprisonment of Kim Davis and the persecution of courageous Christians like Barronelle Stutzman.

    In addition to his defense of religious liberty, the pope also spoke out for traditional values. Francis warned that the institution of marriage and family need to be protected.

    Being forced to participate in homosexual "weddings" is a clear attack on religious liberty and represents a far more serious threat than any alleged climate change.

  59. You must live in a place without weather, sustain yourself on something other than water and food, and have no children who will have to face the social chaos that will come with rising seas, desertification, and the rest. Given the choice of choosing between the "threats," I'd rather celebrate love wherever it is found.

  60. She does not have to "participate" in same-sex weddings, she just has to sign a piece of paper saying that the two people have fulfilled the legal, not any religious requirements to marry. She is imposing religious requirements, and her particular religious requirements on marital laws. Are you suggesting that if she belonged to some sect that forbids interracial marriage that she could refuse to issue such documents to such a couple too? How about if she believes that marriage is purely for procreation? Could she then refuse to issue documents to a couple in their 70's? How about if she considers Jewish people to be the murderers of Jesus? Could she refuse to issue a license to a Jewish couple? If she believes in polygamy, could she issue multiple licenses to a man who wants to marry 16 women? Could she deny a license to someone who was convicted of a heinous crime, a crime for which people were, say, stoned to death in the Bible? Or...does an official of the government have to follow the law of the government or resign her government post if she feels she cannot in good conscience do so? That would be the courageous and principled thing to do.

  61. What does he say about uncontrolled population growth, women's rights, and their connection to poverty, carbon waste, and global planning?

  62. Poverty and climate change.

    Just what the Republican/Tea Party members want to hear. Perhaps one of the members will shout out "You lie!".

    They'll be looking down, tuning him out and squirming in their seats during the Pope's speech. Too bad each of them can't be whacked on the knuckles by a large ruler.

  63. Actually, the 'you lie' comment was spot on, we just didn't know it at the time. Obama was lecturing on how the American people will get to keep their insurance, their doctors, and the cost would go down. All lies.

  64. an old Italian from argentina who lives in rome has the nerve to lecture the US on anything? how many of our tax dollars are going to this gala in his honor? why isn't his church paying for this, it has vast wealth..................

  65. barb tennant - "an old Italian from argentina who lives in rome has the nerve to lecture the US on anything?"

    That's right barb, America is so exceptional and does everything so right that no one should be allowed to suggest ways to be better. As for tax dollars, he is the Head of State, recognized by the US State Department. Are you suggesting that all heads of state be left to their own devices when officially visiting the United States or just this particular one?

  66. As a non-believer, I should be agreeing with you, but there is no denying that this "old Italian from Argentina" is not only the spiritual leader of a large part of humanity, but that he is also a person has thought and prayed a great deal about the meaning of the teachings of the Church as enshrined in the New Testament and in the history of the Church and how they give us direction in the present-day world. Given his position, he must feel a grave responsibility to represent these teachings and their significance for us as honestly as possible. And since he is "lecturing" a nation that in large part defines itself as Christian, "nerve" should not be a problem on his side.

    I guess I am saying that you don't have to believe in Jesus to take his teachings seriously as a part of our history and a force for good.

  67. This man's visit has certainly overturned a number of rocks. At the very least it's allowed some self-satisfied bigots in one cause or another to peddle their -- perhaps agenda based -- disapproval on these pages

    From the tone of some, it must be wonderful to believe oneself perfect; but on the other hand, it might do well to take a closer look closer to home; and after doing that, to "heal thyself" first.

  68. It was interesting to see Pope Francis look directly at President Obama when he spoke about the family. I hope President Obama was listening closely as the family and religious freedoms have been under attack since he was elected President. The Sisters of the Poor and other groups are fighting for their right to uphold their religious principles which have been disappearing under the Obama administration and the Democrats. Pope Francis frequently speaks about religious freedom and rights of the unborn which are important to Catholic doctrine. He is not shy and does not back away from these important issues. He is concerned for the least among us and this is evident in his interactions among the crowds. We should follow his example.

  69. Religious freedoms are not under attack. Some of us want to be free from religious doctrines.

  70. As a one time Roman Catholic seminarian on the way to a life of poverty, chastity and obedience but now a married psychoanalyst with six beautiful daughters I can appreciate the 'revolution' that all the NYT Picks commentators support in the hands of this most gracious man who stands at the head of a religious organization with the blood of Spanish warriors on their hands and in the souls of all conquerors in the name of God. Life and reality is profoundly insane and unfair for human nature is but one manifestation of evolutionary processes from the beginnings of the universe. To be thoughtfully reflective and aware and willing to lead a revolution of compassion and concern amidst the horror of mankind capable of destroying everything in its wake is a profound moment of change that makes it possible to grow into a caring world community. In our beloved USA we have those who would pollute and exploit and discard concern for the well being of others while in blind pursuit of special privilege and access to the halls of power to achieve their own wishes but not the needs of others. Obama and Pope Francis stand in the way of those who would wrest our freedoms from us for their own ends. God Bless them both. Let us celebrate leaders who are willing to speak with clarity and compassion. We need follow in their path. The freedoms and equity that women need and deserve will follow in their course to a loving community where all will be served with compassion and justice.

  71. I just can't get on the band wagon of Pope Francis advocating for the environment...Patriarch Bartholomew head of the Orthodox religion headquartered in Istanbul Turkey has been doing this for years, his nickname is the 'Green Pope'. One meeting of Pope Francis with Patriarch Bartholomew and suddenly it's Francis' idea....? Google Patriarch Bartholomew and see his life work...

  72. The Pope needs to stick with his church in support of helping people that are poor, sick, or in need of refuge. He knows nothing about science or climate change and frankly, those looking to limit climate change (whatever that is) need to stick to real facts and stop ranting about the CA drought, a flood in Houston, or other natural catastrophes. If anything is affecting our planet, it is the disrespect for the animal kingdom (thanks Chinese for your lust of Ivory, Japan and Denmark for your lust to kill dolphins for fun, and poachers for your unending greed a lack of humanity), ignoring the fact that cutting down forests has more impact than driving a car, and for polluting our waters through industrialization on the cheap.

    The Pope is given far too much attention here, but then when did this administration choose their battles well. The kid that claimed to have built a clock, but actually took one apart and just put it back together in a shoe box and then took it to school and refused to say what is was while it ticked in class gets chosen to go to the white house?! The police that arrested him when he would not show and talk about what he had in school, after ignoring his teacher? You know, the one who's dad is a radical Islamist?

    Sometimes I cannot believe the lack of real reporting and discussion.

  73. Pope Francis speaks with a good Christian heart about the poor, the hungry, and our climate. However, what is needed is merely to instruct a starving country how to build their own medical school so they can create their own doctors to heal their sick, teach them farming skills to successfully feed all citizens. God gave all humans intelligence. All humans have the same needs for shelter, food, and water. There are many different religions in the world, but only the true God is good.

    The task of doing what is needed for earth’s climate, and teaching all countries of the world how to help themselves by creating their own medical schools and by learning farming skills to feed their citizens.....will require the cooperation of all the countries governments of the world, regardless of their political stance.

  74. It's strange that so many women fall for this shallow church propaganda. All the church policies are to take control of women body and mind. Religion is like a drug so get rid of this drug. Wake up and fight for EQUALITY.

  75. This man is just another politician. The Vatican is as corrupt (and always has been) as any government. His opinion is just that: his opinion and no more valuable than Mickey Mouse's. What I want to know is how much is his visit going to cost taxpayers!

  76. While he seems like a nice guy..why are we allowing him( a foreigner ) to come here and tell us how to live? He is a religious figures not political. What happen to the separation of church and state. Lets have a guy with the same ambition without the religion.

  77. Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country.

  78. This lovely Popiness! I know he's supposed to be Peter's successor, but he sure reminds me of Christ. While I bristle at the status of women in the Church, I believe our elevation will come shortly. I've spent many years in protestant churches, but this Pope makes me consider becoming Catholic. Never thought I'd say that. Ever.

  79. As much as I appreciate this Pope's kindness and inclusiveness, his speaking out about the urgency of addressing climate change and income inequality, I am eagerly awaiting his elevation of women to their rightful place in the church and in society. After all, we are half of the human race.

  80. Pope Francis apparently sees no connection between overpopulation, poverty and environmental degradation. He's against birth control but uncontrolled births among the billions of the world's poor means more poverty and more land clearance. He wants economies to organize to raise standards of living but doesn't seem to realize that means more energy and raw material consumption, so more pollution and global warming. This pontiff should include some realistic solutions with his pontificating.

  81. I see a lot of press about global warming and very little about poverty. In fact many "Believers" think people should remain impoverished as more wealth will worsen global warming. I hope the "Believers" understand what the pope is saying. Population is not just numbers it's people.

  82. The overpopulation critics have a point. But it isn't the only point to be made, as many imply. Even if a plague decimated the world's population tomorrow, the survivors would be left with our bad habits of stewardship of the earth and treatment of one another. These are issues which can and should be addressed separately from the population problem.