Barletta Bulletin 10.11.15
Taking Pope Francis’s Message to Heart
It was a singular honor for me and my wife, Mary Grace, to be present in the House chamber when Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, the first time any pope has done so. These are very troubling times in which we live, and the pope’s message of peace is something that people of all faiths – or no faith at all – can benefit from. We greeted the Holy Father as Americans, not as Republicans or Democrats, and checked our politics at the door. He is the leader of one of the great religions of the world, the successor to Saint Peter, and we should all listen to and reflect on what he has to say.
As a Catholic, I revere the pope as the leader of my church, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and I am glad to have him open conversations about secular policy, which we may consider and discuss freely. Whether Pope Francis’s remarks confirmed your position on a certain issue, or caused you to examine your own beliefs, his speech was a call for us to be better caretakers of each other and our world. As matters of public policy, members of Congress may disagree on the pathway to achieving certain goals, but his overall message is something we can all embrace.