Where Politics Is Divisive, Pope Francis Unites

Pope Francis (photo credit: Aleteia Image Department via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Pope Francis (photo credit: Aleteia Image Department via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to the U.S. and Cuba has taken the America media by storm. He has prayed with the masses, canonized a saint, driven in the “Popemobile,” broken bread with the poor, and kissed some adorable babies. This week, we have watched the Bishop of Rome and the Vicar of Christ win the hearts and minds of the American people in the name of God, uniting us regardless of our political leanings.  

On Thursday, in a historic address to a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis appealed to both sides of the aisle, proving to be one of the most popular and diplomatic public figures of our time. Amongst other issues, the Pope discussed climate change, life issues, and the beauty of the family. He challenged us to respect and care for each other, especially those who are most vulnerable, such as migrants and the poor. He asked that we take special notice of the importance of faith as it “is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society.”

In a time where political divides reign supreme, Pope Francis’ visit brought a sense of unity and encouragement in Congress, one desperately needed in the midst of presidential campaigns. He proved that we may be able to find political unity, not in bipartisan division but in compassion and recognition of the universal human family:

Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.

Carolina Baker works for American Principles in Action.