While Pope Francis did not directly address U.S. political debates, his speech on Thursday at times closely aligned with Obama’s policies and ideals. Francis urged the U.S. to lead the world in combating climate change, accept more refugees from the civil war in Syria and other war-torn countries and continue to be a place that welcomes immigrants.
Both U.S. political parties used to support the death penalty, but the left is increasingly skeptical of death sentences. Two of the more liberal justices on the Supreme Court in suggested in June the U.S. should reconsider if the death penalty is constitutional. “I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes,” Francis said.
Republicans recognized that Francis’ speech leaned in the direction of Obama, who has sought to make it easier for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. to become legalized and pushed for broad-scale efforts to combat climate change. Some conservatives, such as Texas. Sen. Ted Cruz, are opposed to accepting refugees from Syria, while the Obama administration has said the U.S. will accept at least 10,000 over the next year. Republicans.
Francis becomes the second international renowned leader to address Congress. Netanyahu came to Congress where he angered Democrats by giving a forceful denunciation of the nuclear agreement Obama was trying to reach with Iran. Francis, like Netanyahu, probably did not change the minds of many who watched his speech. The conservative opposition to more liberal policies on immigration and climate change is strong and deep.