The last couple of weeks have been a tornado of arguments around the Globe, especially for America, from the Republican Party presidential debate to teen Ahmed Mohamed going to Jail for showcasing his homemade clock. On Tuesday afternoon, Pope Francis landed on American Soil. This marks a historic moment for the United State because no other pope has visited the United States since 1965. Perhaps his timing is appropriate; though the US has given him the warmest welcome Pope Francis is ready to create uncomfortable moments (as he should) by bringing light to controversial modern day issues.
The pontiff received the media’s attention with his blunt comments - not only has he condemned capitalism and imposing inequalities for the poor but he also has blunt critiques for society, global economics, and other national topics.
Yesterday afternoon the pontiff directed a speech to the Senate and the House of Representatives and surprised many with his choice of topic. Francis is different from other popes; he introduces himself as a “son of inmigrants” from which America was built.
The pope started his speech with a controversial statement. He challenged congress to see immigration as a moral issue rather than a political issue, that instead of treating people as numbers they should be treated as people. "Do not be afraid to welcome them... I am certain that, as so often in the past, these people will enrich America and its church" he stated in his speech by making the argument that America was once a country full of foreigners which made the Country we are today. His thoughts on immigration come in an appropriate time, just very recently the republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made strong accusations in regards to immigration against Mexico by stating that if elected he will build an impenetrable wall across the border. But what people say? 51-year-old Maria Lira made the journey to D.C. from Pennsylvania where she traveled to make a statement for the undocumented. She believes that the pope is the voice of the community because he addresses issues that everyone wants to raise.
Next, Pope Francis addressed climate change. He proclaimed that we need to take immediate action and we cannot pass this problem to the next general. Furthermore, he stressed that America has a duty to act now and advocated that we need to lead that movement. Similar issues have been brought up before but it seems like GOP is slightly more interested in what really matters in this country, the money, just recently they challenged president Obama in regards his plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants because it would hurt the economy and the improvement to the environment would be minimal. Would this plan be effective? I am not sure but what I do know is that it would immoral and illogical to forget to protect and maintain human life at any given time, and that includes our planet.
Francis also urged Cuba and the United States to reconnect after more than half a century of tension. He remained positive during his speech because “the dream continues to inspire us all” every day we wake up in America, although Pope Francis advocated many changes, I am quite unsure on how proactive we are with Cuba. Can we finally rebuild ties? Only time will tell.
The pope is charismatic and people agree with his ideas. Dolores Reyes, a community resident, waited hours to see him. Reyes stated “He is more humble, more connected with people, with everyone. He is a great Pope. I love his approach."
Though the pope has left, his arguments still ring. We should endeavor to practice individualism and self-reliance to see in order to move forward. Global Climate and immigration, the main issues he addressed will require everyone’s participation. Until next time Pope Francis.