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Congress reacts to Pope Francis’ address

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

On Thursday morning, as part of his visit to the United States, Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress. Despite how there was to be no applause from members of Congress and their guests, that rule was quickly violated.

ABC News reported that there were 34 times in which the audience applauded in fact. They also have a transcript of Pope Francis’ remarks.

Comments which drew applause included a wide range of topics. They touched upon immigrants, religious extremists, family, and the efforts of notable Americans, including Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pope Francis said “the Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.” That statements drew its own applause, but the pope also expanded on his remarks to discuss his hopes to abolish the death penalty. The cheers were even more unmistakable, and became almost rowdy.

The mention of climate change brought on applause as well, but in a more partisan fashion, coming mostly from Democrats.

The cameras at times provided not only a glimpse of Pope Francis, but of reactions from the audience. Speaker John Boehner, who was seated behind the pope, became emotional early on. As Francis addressed the crowd by acknowledging he was in “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” Boehner became tearful.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also teared up over remarks on immigrants. And Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) was emotional to hear Pope Francis speak about King’s march from Selma to Montgomery.


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