Pope Francis stepped out of his four-door Fiat and onto the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday morning, greeting President Obama, his family, and thousands of admiring supporters.
The president welcomed the “people’s pope” to the United States, before allowing him to address the crowd with an optimistic speech he gave entirely in English.
“We know by faith that our creator will never abandon us,” he said.
“I would like all men and women in this great nation to support efforts of international community to protect the vulnerable and create inclusive models of development.”
He then addressed a specific, and what some would call controversial, issue, thanking the president for his efforts to reduce air pollution.
“It seems clear to me that climate change is a problem that can no longer be left to a future generation,” he urged. “We are living at a critical moment of history, we still have time to make the change needed.”
“We wish to commit ourselves to the responsible care of our common home,” Francis added.
The mutual affection between the two world figures became apparent over a year ago when Obama visited the Vatican City. What was supposed to be a half hour meeting turned into an hour-long conversation, as the two found common ground on several issues and established a pleasant rapport. It went so well that Obama greeted the pope personally on Tuesday at Andrews Air Force Base, a rare trip for the president.
While some have criticized the Pope for promoting what seems to be a liberal political agenda, pundits like Fox News’s Shepard Smith would argue he is just voicing the compassionate core tenets of the Catholic Church. On his flight to the States, Pope Francis reportedly told the press he is “no leftie.”
Stay tuned for more coverage of the Pope’s Washington, D.C. trip throughout the next two days.