NEW YORK — It would be several hours before Pope Francis would eventually arrive for a solemn interfaith service at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum honoring victims of the September 11 terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan Friday morning but he was already proving to be a unifying force among the diverse throng of invited guests who were patiently waiting to meet him.
And for Monsignor Donald Beckmann of the St. Ignatius Martyr Church in Long Beach, Brooklyn, it was a sign. A sign said Beckmann of Francis' unifying effect which he says is due to more than anything else, the pontiff's simple presentation of himself as a proclaimer of Jesus. Nothing more.
"I think one of the things that I've been touched by is the way so many groups of Christians, including Evangelicals, have noticed the way that his focus is not on himself, his focus is on Jesus," said Beckmann as he waited along Church Street between Liberty and Cortlandt Streets to get past the security check-point to the museum. "Jesus is the one we share in common, Francis sees himself as someone who proclaims Jesus and in that, he can be what we Catholics feel the papacy is meant to be — a focus of unity for all the Christian people." more >>
NEW YORK — Surveys have found that most Roman Catholics are head-over-heels in love with their new pope, and according to several of the faithful who turned out for Francis-led services this week in New York City, the surveys are absolutely right.
Everyone asked among the more than 2,000 people in attendance at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Midtown Manhattan for evening prayer (Vespers) on Thursday all said the same thing in a variety of ways: Pope Francis is different; he's a man of the people; he's humble; he's hands-on.
The sentiment was expressed by both older and younger generations of Roman Catholics. more >>
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. more >>
NEW YORK — In a historic speech delivered at the opening of the 70th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Friday, Pope Francis called for a defense of the environment and a recognition and adherence to "moral law" in society while knocking abortion, war, Christian persecution and "anomalous" lifestyles.
"Man is not only a freedom which he creates for himself. Man does not create himself. He is spirit and will, but also nature. Creation is compromised where we ourselves have the final word. The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any instance above ourselves. When we see nothing else but ourselves," said Francis who is the first Pope to address the opening session of the General Assembly.
"Consequently, the defense of the environment and the fight against exclusion demand that we recognize a moral law written into human nature itself. One which includes the natural difference between man and woman and the absolute respect for life in all its stages and dimensions," he said to applause. more >>
WASHINGTON — In the first ever papal address issued to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Thursday, Pope Francis urged Americans to share their wealth, stand up against religious and minority persecution, defend life at every stage of development, welcome immigrants seeking better lives, abolish the death penalty and protect the planet.
After meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, in his office around 9:15 a.m., the leader of the Catholic Church addressed members of the House and Senate with a 50-minute speech that was broadcasted and shown to approximately 50,000 adoring fans who gathered on the front lawn of the Capitol building to hear his historic remarks.
"Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility," Pope Francis, who hails from Argentina, asserted. "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, called and convened by those who elected you." more >>
The following is a transcript of Pope Francis' Thursday speech to Congress.
Mr. Speaker, more >>