Pope Francis speaks during an audience with religious from around the world in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Sept. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Washington D.C., Sep
21, 2015 (CNA/EWTN News
Thursday Pope Francis will become the first Bishop of Rome to address a joint
session of the US Senate and House of Representatives. During his speech he
will tackle the misinterpretation of his words on economics and politics.
expectation is according to a source who saw the first drafts of the speech,
and who spoke with CNA Sept. 18.
Francis will likely use the speech to Congress to clarify his position on
economics and politics, thus indirectly responding to the misinterpretation of
his words,” the source maintained.
to the source, the speech will also include a mention of the market: “Pope
Francis will clarify that he never said he wants to abolish the market, but
that he said the market needs a purification.”
American audience made much of Pope Francis' criticism of capitalist systems
which he made during his South American trip this summer.
July 9 address at the World Meeting of Popular Movements in Santa Cruz de la
Sierra, Bolivia, he said that “the stench of what Basil of Caesarea one of
the first theologians of the Church called 'the dung of the devil'” lies
behind global capitalism's indifference to the poor and the planet.”
unfettered pursuit of money rules,” the Pope continued. “This is the 'dung of
the devil' … Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once
greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins
society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity,
it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk
our common home, sister and mother earth.”
Francis added that “in this subtle dictatorship” capital has become and idol,
and called for a “real change, structural change” to solve the situation.
his speech to Congress will be addressed particularly to the American audience
and it will not be linked to his speech the following day to the United
Nations in New York, the source maintained.
will also likely be a core issue in the papal speech, with the Pope would
praising the United States for their multicultural composition, while also
calling for a wider welcoming of immigrants.
Francis has already given a sign of what he would like the US to do in terms of
immigration. When he took part to the ABC show 20/20, he directly addressed Sr.
Norma Pimentel, the director of Catholic Charities in Rio Grande, who manages a
welcoming center for immigrants who are left at the border. That’s the kind of
welcoming he thinks about,” the source maintained.
not every congressman will hear the Pope's message.
Gosar (R-Ariz.) who is himself Catholic announced on Friday that he would
boycott Pope Francis' speech, in protest of the Roman Pontiff's views on
claimed that he would be joined in his protest by at least one other
legislator, while declining to name that person.
lawmakers are more open to lending an ear to the Pope.
Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.), said, “I’m sure I’ll disagree with something the Pope
says,” according to The Hill. “But I still embrace my religion. It’s literally
a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit here and listen to the Holy Father.”
Rubio, a Florida Senator of Cuban descent who is running for the Republican
nomination for United States President, wrote in an
opinion piece at CNN
that he hopes the Pope's visit to Cuba “will
remind all the Cuban citizens that they possess dignity and fundamental rights
that come from God and that the Castro regime has no claim on changing what is
contrasted the state of freedoms religious and otherwise enjoyed by
citizens of the United State and of Cuba.
the Pope can use his moral authority to inspire true religious freedom, and
bring us closer to the day when freedom can finally take root on the island
country; because only then will the people of Cuba prosper and have the
opportunity to live out God's plan,” he wrote.
join me in welcoming Pope Francis to the United States, and helping him to
spread peace and prosperity to people around the world.”