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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis doesn't hold back while addressing controversial issues

Pope Francis did not disappoint in his speech to Congress. He delivered broad comments about the purpose of politics but also weighed in on specific issues. One of the central aspects of his speech was a call to treat refugees in a humane and generous way. POPE FRANCIS "Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. Let us remember the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'â? He said that rule is also the basis for how we should consider other hotly-debated issues like abortion and defense of the family. POPE FRANCIS "The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.â? He also touched on the difficult question of the death penalty. He called for its absolute and complete abolition. POPE FRANCIS "I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred.â? Nineteen of the 50 states have already abolished the death penalty. Texas and Florida use it most frequently.  Arms trafficking was also criticized by the Pope, who described it as being motivated by a desire for material wealth. POPE FRANCIS "Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood.  In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.â? The Pope also denounced religious and ideological fundamentalism. And, of course, he discussed his climate change encyclical and poverty, two key issues for the Pope. The speech was well-received by both Democrats and Republicans. In fact, the chamber broke into applause than 20 times during the speech. JRB/ATO CTV S -PR Up:ATO #Papaeneeuu