By Ashley Dominguez

Pope Francis is the 266th pope of the Catholic Church and the fourth pope in history to visit the United States of America. He visited in September and spoke not only to Congress about current issues, but met with people during parades, spoke to service organizations, and still had the time to hold mass during his visit. He stopped in Washington D.C., New York, and Philadelphia.

When he first arrived in Washington, he met with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, as well as their families. That same day, Pope Francis addressed Congress, discussing topics about immigration, the death penalty, and abortion emphasizing the importance of helping those in need and providing the church’s standpoint on these issues. The pope urged Congress to accept immigrants as their own children, abolish the death penalty, and deem abortion an unspeakable crime. In New York, the Pope visited the 9/11 Memorial and gave a speech warning the people to never forget those who suffered and died there.

He then spoke at the UN General Assembly about climate change and how we should focus on stopping the harm we have done to the Earth instead of avoiding the issue. He asked for more consideration of the poor when making decisions. He says this can be accomplished through simple things like recycling and improving public transportation.

His final stop in Philadelphia was in front of Independence Hall where he praised America’s traditions and religious freedom, but warned about how injustices can tear down a society. During parades, crowds of people came to see Pope Francis, hear him speak, and for some, be blessed by the Pope himself. After returning to Rome, he tweeted “With my heartfelt thanks. May the love of Christ always guide the American people! #GodBlessAmerica”

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