Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, taking the opportunity to preach against tenets of both liberalism and conservatism. Liberals were zinged by his remarks opposing abortion, redefining the family, and infringing upon religious liberty. Conservatives were zinged by his remarks on the necessity of supporting immigrants, measures to combat climate change, the elimination of the death penalty, tempering the excesses of capitalism, offering help for the poor, and (interestingly) opposing “fundamentalism.”
To his credit, the Pope twice mentioned “vocation” in a more or less Lutheran sense (as opposed to the medieval Catholic application of the term to church professions alone):
A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.
“Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129).
Here is an annotated text of the speech (click the yellow highlights for the annotations). After the jump, a detailed account of what the Pope said and how Congressmen and Senators reacted. [Read more…]