Teachers, students share reactions to Pope Francis’ speech to Congress

By Mary Kate Dowling, Claire Murray, and Nicholas Wynn

On September 24, 2015 Pope Francis became the first Pope ever to address Congress.  Pope Francis was invited by Speaker of the House, John Boehner, who is a Catholic from Cincinnati.  He addressed the issues of immigration, the sanctity of life, and traditional marriage.  He spoke to the ideas of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton and he said that like them, “It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same.” McNicholas’ faculty, staff, and students watched Pope Francis’ speech live beginning at 10 a.m. and shared their reflections on the Pontiff’s message.

One thing I wish our holy father would have put a greater emphasis on was being pro-life and ending abortion.  Yes, I understand that he did say we need to respect all life in all its forms and wants to end the death penalty, but he never once specifically mentioned abortion by name and seemed to put a greater emphasis on climate by talking about it significantly more.  I loved how he put an emphasis on family life.  Overall, I really liked the speech, but I was disappointed because of the omission of addressing and attacking the very important issue of abortion. — Vinny Ramundo ’19

The Pope’s remarks to Congress were a love letter to his North American brothers and sisters.   The mention of four great Americans (Lincoln, King, Jr., Day, and Merton) let the USA know the heart of his message — Liberty, inclusion, working for the poor and immigrants, and having a heart for God.  He spoke his mind and heart of how we can be a better nation and people and he did it with love. — Teresa Davis, Theology Teacher

I loved the Pope’s talk! He is so genuine, kind, compassionate, merciful, hopeful and challenging. How Christ-like! We are living in a time with someone who is truly a saint and will be remembered and written about for thousands of years to come. — Sam Roflow, Theology Teacher

I thought the speech was put well together by treating everyone equally and recognizing our roles that we play on a daily basis. He talked with wisdom about how America as a whole can change for the common good with the struggles in our society that we are having currently. — Emily Lawrence ’18

I thought he spoke from his heart — Janie Ferris ’18

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