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Pope Francis wraps up U.S. tour with final Mass, touching people and politics

Pope Francis dove into some of the United States’ thorniest political debates during his historic six day visit by urging the world’s wealthiest nation to welcome immigrants, to end homelessness and do more to address climate change. During his final open-air mass on Sunday in Philadelphia, Francis urged hundreds of thousands of the faithful to […]

Calvin Prasad

September 29, 2015 2:44 pm

Pope Francis dove into some of the United States’ thorniest political debates during his historic six day visit by urging the world’s wealthiest nation to welcome immigrants, to end homelessness and do more to address climate change.

Pope Francis wraps up U.S. tour with final Mass, touching people and politics. Photo: Yahoo.
Pope Francis wraps up U.S. tour with final Mass, touching people and politics. Photo: Yahoo.

During his final open-air mass on Sunday in Philadelphia, Francis urged hundreds of thousands of the faithful to be open to “miracles of love,” closing out his tour with a message of hope for families, consolation for victims of child sexual abuse and a warning to America’s bishops.

June Bounds, 56, of Rochester, New York, watched the Mass with fellow parishioners on a large screen at City Hall:

He’s brought so much joy and holy spirit into the United States. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Catholic; he’s just trying to unite everybody for a better world.

But in an acutely polarized Congress, it was unclear if lawmakers’ minds were changed by Francis’ words in Washington or at the United Nations, where he condemned the “boundless thirst” for wealth and power.

Shortly before arrival, Francis denied he was a leftist, despite his criticisms of the excesses of capitalism. His speeches gave both Democrats and Republican fodder to support the intense partisan battles that define modern Washington.

Eric LeCompte, executive director of the Jubilee USA Network, a nonprofit that advocates for debt relief for developing countries:

Does it make a difference for all of Congress? No, but for some members of Congress, he has provided cover to take political risks and start to reach across the aisle again.

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