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Dreams and Faith

Dreams and Faith

In U.S., admiring public and vocal critics await Pope Francis

Posted by ShadowDarkFyre Erebus Olorin Arthur Pendragon Daeron on 19 September, 2015 at 13:10



John Gehring for Yahoo News

September 18, 2015

When Pope Francis arrives in Washington, D.C., next week, the most intriguing moral leader on the global stage will find throngs of adoring crowds and glowing media coverage. A pope who can make Catholicism cool, and the Vatican a good news story, is rare enough. But Francis’ role as a reformer with a common touch has disarmed even many critics of the world’s most influential institution.

Simmering just under this sunny narrative, however, is a subtext that Pope Francis himself recognizes. In the United States, the epicenter of global finance, the pope — who challenges “trickle-down” economics and questions the “absolute autonomy of markets” — will run head first into the buzz saw of American politics. Francis touches down in the nation’s capital at an especially charged moment.

A historic number of Catholics (the majority of them Republicans) are running for president at a time when the pope has put economic inequality, climate change and the plight of immigrants at the forefront of his papacy. As if the backdrop of the 2016 elections weren’t enough to frame the contours of this visit, Francis, the first Jesuit pope and the first pope from the global South, will also be the first pontiff in history to address a joint session of Congress. His audience in the chamber will be an attentive bunch. Nearly one-third of Congress is Catholic, and about 1 in 10 graduated from a Jesuit university, including House Speaker John Boehner, who invited the pope to Capitol Hill.

Categories: General News

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