Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on the Address to Congress by Pope Francis
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement in response to the Address to Congress by Pope Francis:
Today I was in the presence of a holy and pious man who is calling us to be more concerned for others than for ourselves. Pope Francis called upon all Americans to be more aware of what our current policies are doing to the most vulnerable people not just in our country, but around the world. We as legislators were called to ensure that what we do here is for the common good of all, especially for those men and women who need it the most.
The Holy Father challenged all Americans to adhere to the Golden Rule: To treat others as we would like to be treated. This small change in behavior can help us renew our commitment to each other and to the common good of all mankind.
Pope Francis stands in stark contrast to the political tone that we see in our country today. Using the examples of four Americans, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, we were called to be defenders of liberty and to follow their example for creating a better future.
Our response to the problems of the present must be one of hope and healing, peace and justice. Our work—and the work of people around the world, is to restore hope – right wrongs—and promote the well-being of all individuals.
It is my hope that Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, and especially this historic address to Congress, will encourage Congress to work together in pursuing a "culture of care" and “restoring dignity to the excluded.”