Pope uses popularity to chart new direction for church & US
CLICK IMAGE for slideshow: Pope Francis acknowledges faithful as he parades on his way to celebrate Mass Sunday, …
In Congress and at a parish school, at the United Nations and a city jail, Pope Francis spent a whirlwind U.S. visit bridging the realms of the disadvantaged and elite, trying to turn the attention of the mightiest nation on earth away from ideological battles and toward a world he said desperately needs help.
From his very first appearance, he wove together issues that are rarely linked in American public life.
At the White House with President Barack Obama, he upheld religious freedom while seeking urgent action to ease climate change. Addressing Congress, he sought mercy for refugees, while proclaiming a duty “to defend human life at every stage of its development,” a challenge to abortion rights. Standing on altars before the nation’s bishops, he acknowledged the difficulties of ministering amid “unprecedented changes taking place in contemporary society,” a recognition of gay marriage.
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