5 Takeaways From the Pope's Speech

He hits everything from the death penalty to the state of the family
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2015 11:44 AM CDT
5 Takeaways From the Pope's Speech
Pope Francis addresses Congress.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Pope Francis hit a wide-ranging number of topics in his address to Congress today. Here are five getting attention:

  • Death penalty: He implored Congress to abolish it, reports ThinkProgress. “Every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes."
  • Immigrants: He invoked MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech in asking the US to be more welcoming not only to refugees from Europe but from Mexico as well, reports the Hill. "On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children?"

  • Marriage: In what Slate says is "almost certainly an allusion" to gay marriage, Francis lamented the state of the modern family. It is "threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without," he said. "Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life."
  • Climate change: He said the US has an "important role to play" in reversing the "environmental deterioration caused by human activity," reports CNBC. "Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies."
  • Arms trade: He told lawmakers from the world's largest exporter of weapons that the arms trade must end, reports the AP. Why do weapons get sold to war mongers? he asked. "Sadly, the answer as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. ... It is our duty to confront the problem."
(Read more Pope Francis stories.)

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