Author and Lakewood megachurch Pastor Joel Osteen expressed excitement over Pope Francis' visit to the United States this week and believes the pontiff is a "man of the people" who is focused on inclusion.
Osteen spoke with The Christian Post this week where he shared his thoughts on the pontiff.
"I like the Pope. I like that he's making the Catholic Church more open to bring people in and not exclude them. He's a man of the people. I like what he stands for — humility, reaching out to others and he's not so formal that people can't relate to him," said Osteen to CP.
The mega pastor appreciates Pope Francis' ability to reach out to all types of people by making himself relatable. Pope Francis washes the feet of the disabled, kisses paraplegics and willingly steps out of the comforts many other Catholic Church leaders have enjoyed, including boarding inside the Vatican's apostolic palace.
The pope's visit to the U.S. this week marks his first-ever, and the pontiff has already visited Washington D.C. and New York City. He will also travel to Philadelphia before the end of his trip.
While in Washington D.C., the pontiff declined an offer to dine with high-ranking politicians and chose to have lunch with the homeless instead. On Thursday afternoon, Pope Francis ate with residents from the Harriet Tubman Women's Shelter in an outdoor setting.
Many of the guests were homeless, former felons, mentally ill, victims of domestic violence and drug abusers, according to a New York Times report.
"He's a good man. He's about us," said Harriet Tubman resident Lolita Hilliard to the NY Times.
The pope also issued his first-ever papal address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Thurdsay where he stressed the importance of protecting human life at every stage of development. He also made a point to include those living in poverty.
"I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope," said Francis.
"It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable."
His speech lasted 50 minutes and was attended by 50,000 of the pontiff's supporters who gathered on the front lawn of the Capitol building.
The pope also stressed the significance of each American citizen while speaking.
"Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility," said Pope Francis on Thursday. "A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited."
He also compared the works of Congress to the word of biblical patriarch Moses.
"Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation," he said.
"On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protest, by means of the law, the images and likeness fashioned by God on every human face."