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Pope Francis Takes Jab at US Gay Marriage

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Pope Francis Takes Jab at US Gay Marriage

Bambrick also said that he hopes Pope Francis' compassion towards refugees and focus on income inequality has changed the way congress handles those issues.

Pope Francis smiles as he arrives on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to address the U.S. Congress in Washington, September 24, 2015.

After addressing throngs of well-wishers on the West Side of the Capitol, Francis went directly to an inner-city Washington church, where he met with the poor and the homeless. He said we should not be fearful of foreigners because most of us were once foreigners ourselves.

He challenged everyone not to see migrants as numbers, but as faces. "I appreciate the unfailing commitment of the Church in America to the cause of life and that of the family, which is the primary reason for my present visit", he said on Wednesday.

"I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States - and this Congress - have an important role to play", he declared. "To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you".

Politicians of all political backgrounds and religious affiliations eagerly welcomed the Pope, pledging to pause from the bickering and the dysfunction that normally divide them.

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Lawmakers were on their best behavior, after having received guidance and pleas from congressional leaders.

It was a rare moment of unity for a Congress that is bitterly divided on a number of substantive issues.

Many lawmakers leaned forward, straining to hear during much of the speech. He spoke about the need for recognizing the contributions of both the elderly and the young.

Of those surveyed who identified with being Catholic now or at one point in time, 70 percent said the Pope should consider women priests. "And I don't think other countries would like it if we crashed their borders and invaded their countries". Some Democrats noted the timing of the pope's address, which discussed protecting the environment, with the legislation, which prohibits agencies from using the social cost of carbon in the review process.

Of course, Pope Francis' views on these matters were already known to virtually everyone in his audience and it is unlikely that he changed a single mind.

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