Although many conservative Catholics are seemingly unhappy with the pope's call to reduce environmental pollution and open borders to undocumented immigrants, Father Benedict O'Cinnsealaigh, president of Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West in Cincinnati who is a self-proclaimed conservative, told CP after the pope's address that he "loves" Pope Francis and added that he isn't saying anything that isn't consistent with Jesus' teachings.
"Destroying what God has given, whether that is a child's life, a society, or whether that is a garden that God has given, makes no sense," O'Cinnesealaigh said. "God gave us the Earth for our benefit, but he asks us to watch over and protect it and make sure that it is a resource that is passed on to the next generation."
"I am a conservative Catholic and I love him," O'Cinnesealaigh. "I think he is a prophet and for whatever section that you belong to, whatever you think you are, he is going to have something to say that encourages you, and he is going to have something to say that threatens you or inspires you or that moves you or makes you feel uncomfortable. That's his job. He speaks for God, he doesn't speak for me. He is not interested in how I feel, he is interested in what God wants him to say, whether I am comfortable with that or not. To be honest, I haven't heard the pope say anything that makes me think 'That is not catholic."
As Pope Francis called for the redistribution of wealth to help those in poverty, another claim made by conservatives is that Pope Francis is a socialist or a communist. However, Sister Mary Samuel from the Dominican Sisters of Mary in Ann Arbor, Michigan, assured CP after the address that Pope Francis is not a socialist.
"These capitalists think he is a socialist, but he is not. We know capitalists fueled this economy and fueled this nation, and its a good use of our money." Samuel said. "Everyone is responsible for that. If you have money, you are responsible to use it, not all for yourself, give a portion to others. It is not up to the government to do that, it is up to the individual to look and see what they don't need that they could give to help other individuals. The church has a lot of enemies and they are not just from within, they are certainly from without. This pope, he above all of that. He knows the truth is truth and he is not going to back down on that because the truth is Christ and the word of God."
Pope Francis has also called on the world to be more welcoming of refugees seeking better lives and those looking to escape from the dangers of religious and political persecution.
Ale Saucedo, a mother originally from Pope Francis' native Argentina who now lives in Florida and lead a group of over 100 undocumented immigrants to walk over 100 miles to see the Pope in Washington, D.C., said that Pope Francis is a "final and transformational voice for a new immigration system."
"He talked about immigration and the first words were 'I come from immigrant family.'" Saucedo told CP. "I cry because he is for every heart in the immigrant community. We made a petition, a national petition two years ago. We gave him the petition [Wednesday], when he passed after the White House. More than 1,000 signed. We are waiting for him to call us."