With the Pope’s visit this week, politicians across the spectrum are racing to cash in on the goodwill and publicity the Pontiff brings with him with his first Papal visit to the United States as the leader of the Catholic Church.
The Pope has made some predictable statements on climate change, which have thrilled liberals. The Guardian called his visit “surprisingly political.” They reported,
- The pope invoked Martin Luther king in a call for urgent action on climate change. Speaking on the White House lawn with President Barack Obama before some 15,000 people, Francis told Obama he found it “encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution”.
- Five-year-old Sophie Cruz broke through security to deliver a message on immigration reform to the pope during his Washington DC parade. Cruz’s parents are undocumented migrants from Mexico.
- In his address to the US bishops, the pope commended them for “courage” shown over the child sexual abuse crisis. “Nor have you been afraid to divest whatever is unessential in order to regain the authority and trust which is demanded of ministers of Christ,” he added.
- Pope Francis canonized Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary, the first canonization performed on US soil. Native American groups protested at the site of Serra’s burial, Carmel Mission. The mass of canonization was performed in Spanish at Washington DC’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
While much of the Pope’s agenda was advantageous for the Left-wing of the American political spectrum, Secretary of State John Kerry took a victory lap on Twitter, writing “Pleased and moved by
@Pontifex’s call to resolve disputes through diplomacy, address #climatechange and protect the vulnerable in our world.”
The most vulnerable in the world, of course, aren’t those who are at risk of being affected by climate change, but the unborn. The Twitter account for the US Catholic Bishops wasn’t letting that tweet go unchallenged, responding (with a period before Kerry’s Twitter handle, ensuring all of their followers would see the tweet):
— US Catholic Bishops (@USCCB) September 23, 2015
There were more retweets and favorites of that tweet than Kerry’s original tweet on climate change. The Catholic Bishops have made clear that while climate change may be a pet initiative of the current Pope, it doesn’t change the Church’s utmost respect for the pro-life cause, which is one of the most theologically important for Catholics as they relate to politics.
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