6 things Pope Francis said that will resonate with working families

09/24/2015

He challenged Congress to do better on the issues that matter.

When Pope Francis became the first pontiff to address members of Congress, he brought his moral leadership to bear on the issues that matter most to working men and women across the United States. Here are some of the important things he said:

1. "In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants."

Pope Francis began by reminding his audience, as he did in earlier remarks, that he comes from an immigrant family.


2. "I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery 50 years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his dream of full civil and political rights for African Americans. That dream continues to inspire us all."

Pope Francis used as examples the lives of four great Americans: King, Abraham Lincoln, social justice activist Dorothy Day and monk Thomas Merton
.

3. "On this continent... 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 opportunity. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must... respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.... Let us remember the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'"

The pope has been outspoken in calling for justice for immigrants -- here and around the world. Commonsense immigration reform would enable 11 million people to come out of the shadows and participate fully in our economy and democracy.

4. "Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities."

Pope Francis said the Golden Rule points to this approach to thinking about issues from poverty and inequality to immigration.

5. "Keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly."

The pope challenged members of Congress to help the poor: "They, too, need to be given hope."

6. "Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature."

Pope Francis explained that the issue of climate change is intertwined with all of the concerns of working people.

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