The New York Times kaller pave Frans’ tale til en samlet Kongress for «venstreorientert» siden han var eksplisitt på liberale hjertesaker, men vag på konservatives.

In the end, both sides could walk away citing parts of his message. But the liberal agenda items in his speech were explicit and clear while the conservative ones were more veiled.

Det påfallende med pavens engasjement er at det er uforbeholdent, dermed får det en politiserende edge som det ikke hadde behøvd. I politikken er ting sjelden bare det det utgir seg for. Det kan virke på mange måter. Hva hvis det ikke er jobber til innvandrerne, er det da riktig å lokke dem til Europa? Paven ignorerer også at mye tyder på at vi ikke ser migrasjon i vanlig forstand, men begynnelsen på en flukt fra den fattige til den rike del av verden, og det fordi den fattige kollapser.

Burde ikke paven legge inn noen advarseler om konsekvensen av dette?

While he checked boxes in calling for religious liberty and defending the family, the heart of his address, and the most time, was dedicated to aspects of Catholic teaching embraced by progressives, especially the overriding need to help the poor and destitute. He was at his most passionate in embracing immigration, alluding to his own family’s history of moving from Italy to Argentina, where he was born.

“We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners,” Francis said. “I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants.”

“On this continent,” he continued, “thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is that not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.”

He cited the do-unto-others Golden Rule. “The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us,” Francis said. “The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”

Pavens fordømmelse av våpenhandel lyder som et ekko av 60-tallets protestsanger. Paven ser de verste motiver bak våpenhandelen. Virkelig? Finnes det bare dårlige motiver? Hva med fred og sikkerhet? Hvordan skal den sikres?

He was less restrained about the arms trade. “Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society?” he asked. “Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money – money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”

Derimot er det faktum at paven talte til Kongressen en milepæl. Da John F. Kennedy ble valgt, var det et gjennombrudd. Frem til da hadde ikke katolikker kunnet bekle det høyeste embetet.

Not that long ago, the prospect of the head of the Catholic Church addressing Congress would have been unthinkable. Catholics in politics were a source of suspicion and a subject of slander for generations. Even as John F. Kennedy became the first Catholic elected president, he felt compelled to defend his faith by asserting that he would not take orders from the pope.

Today, the pendulum has swung significantly. The Congress that Francis addressed Thursday includes 138 House members who are Catholic and 26 senators, or nearly 31 percent, compared with 22 percent of the overall adult population. Not only are both House leaders Catholic, but so is Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who serves as president of the Senate.