Before a packed chamber today, Francis became the first Pope to address a joint meeting of the House and the Senate. Speaking slowly and in heavily accented English, Pope Francis said he was grateful for a historic invitation.
He called for unity and denounced political and ideological “polarization”—but did not shy away from Washington's most divisive issues. They included abortion, same sex marriage and climate change — each provoking a standing ovation from a different part of the audience. Afterward, there was no handshaking with dignitaries: the Pope had a meeting with homeless people.