francis' speeches

7

“Everybody has something that chews them up and, for me, that thing was always loneliness. The cinema has the power to make you not feel lonely, even when you are.”
- Tom Hanks

//All credit to the creators of these alternative posters//

True defenders of doctrine are not those who uphold its letter, but its spirit; not ideas but people; not formulae but the gratuitousness of God’s love and forgiveness.
—  Pope Francis, in his final speech to the Synod on the Family (October 24th, 2015)
Text of Pope Francis’ Speech for Congress

Mr. Vice-President,
Mr. Speaker,
Honorable Members of Congress,

Dear Friends,

I am most grateful for your invitation to address this Joint Session of Congress in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. I would like to think that the reason for this is that I too am a son of this great continent, from which we have all received so much and toward which we share a common responsibility.

Each son or daughter of a given country has a mission, a personal and social responsibility. Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. You are the face of its people, their representatives. You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics. A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk. Legislative activity is always based on care for the people. To this you have been invited, called and convened by those who elected you.

Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation. On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.

Today I would like not only to address you, but through you the entire people of the United States. Here, together with their representatives, I would like to take this opportunity to dialogue with the many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and –one step at a time – to build a better life for their families. These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society. They generate solidarity by their actions, and they create organizations which offer a helping hand to those most in need.

I would also like to enter into dialogue with the many elderly persons who are a storehouse of wisdom forged by experience, and who seek in many ways, especially through volunteer work, to share their stories and their insights. I know that many of them are retired, but still active; they keep working to build up this land. I also want to dialogue with all those young people who are working to realize their great and noble aspirations, who are not led astray by facile proposals, and who face difficult situations, often as a result of immaturity on the part of many adults. I wish to dialogue with all of you, and I would like to do so through the historical memory of your people.

My visit takes place at a time when men and women of good will are marking the anniversaries of several great Americans. The complexities of history and the reality of human weakness notwithstanding, these men and women, for all their many differences and limitations, were able by hard work and self-sacrifice – some at the cost of their lives – to build a better future. They shaped fundamental values which will endure forever in the spirit of the American people. A people with this spirit can live through many crises, tensions and conflicts, while always finding the resources to move forward, and to do so with dignity. These men and women offer us a way of seeing and interpreting reality. In honoring their memory, we are inspired, even amid conflicts, and in the here and now of each day, to draw upon our deepest cultural reserves.

I would like to mention four of these Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.
This year marks the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the guardian of liberty, who labored tirelessly that "this nation, under God, [might] have a new birth of freedom”. Building a future of freedom requires love of the common good and cooperation in a spirit of subsidiarity and solidarity.

All of us are quite aware of, and deeply worried by, the disturbing social and political situation of the world today. Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject.

Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.

The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience.

In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus.

Here I think of the political history of the United States, where democracy is deeply rooted in the mind of the American people. All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776). If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance. Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort.

Here too I think of the march which Martin Luther King led from Selma to Montgomery fifty years ago as part of the campaign to fulfill his "dream” of full civil and political rights for African Americans. That dream continues to inspire us all. I am happy that America continues to be, for many, a land of "dreams”. Dreams which lead to action, to participation, to commitment. Dreams which awaken what is deepest and truest in the life of a people.

In recent centuries, millions of people came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom. We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us were once foreigners. I say this to you as the son of immigrants, knowing that so many of you are also descended from immigrants. Tragically, the rights of those who were here long before us were not always respected. For those peoples and their nations, from the heart of American democracy, I wish to reaffirm my highest esteem and appreciation. Those first contacts were often turbulent and violent, but it is difficult to judge the past by the criteria of the present. Nonetheless, when the stranger in our midst appeals to us, we must not repeat the sins and the errors of the past. We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible, as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our "neighbors” and everything around us. Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.
Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War. This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions. On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal. We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome. Let us remember the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).

This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.

This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. 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. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.

In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.

How much progress has been made in this area in so many parts of the world! How much has been done in these first years of the third millennium to raise people out of extreme poverty! I know that you share my conviction that much more still needs to be done, and that in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost. At the same time I would encourage you to keep in mind all those people around us who are trapped in a cycle of poverty. They too need to be given hope. The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and on many fronts, especially in its causes. I know that many Americans today, as in the past, are working to deal with this problem.

It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth. The right use of natural resources, the proper application of technology and the harnessing of the spirit of enterprise are essential elements of an economy which seeks to be modern, inclusive and sustainable. "Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129). This common good also includes the earth, a central theme of the encyclical which I recently wrote in order to "enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (ibid., 3). "We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (ibid., 14).

In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to "redirect our steps” (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a "culture of care” (ibid., 231) and "an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature” (ibid., 139). "We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology” (ibid., 112); "to devise intelligent ways of… developing and limiting our power” (ibid., 78); and to put technology "at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral” (ibid., 112). In this regard, I am confident that America’s outstanding academic and research institutions can make a vital contribution in the years ahead.

A century ago, at the beginning of the Great War, which Pope Benedict XV termed a "pointless slaughter”, another notable American was born: the Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. He remains a source of spiritual inspiration and a guide for many people. In his autobiography he wrote: "I came into the world. Free by nature, in the image of God, I was nevertheless the prisoner of my own violence and my own selfishness, in the image of the world into which I was born. That world was the picture of Hell, full of men like myself, loving God, and yet hating him; born to love him, living instead in fear of hopeless self-contradictory hungers”. Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the Church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.

From this perspective of dialogue, I would like to recognize the efforts made in recent months to help overcome historic differences linked to painful episodes of the past. It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same. When countries which have been at odds resume the path of dialogue – a dialogue which may have been interrupted for the most legitimate of reasons – new opportunities open up for all. This has required, and requires, courage and daring, which is not the same as irresponsibility. A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind, seizes the moment in a spirit of openness and pragmatism. A good political leader always opts to initiate processes rather than possessing spaces (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 222-223).

Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world. Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

Three sons and a daughter of this land, four individuals and four dreams: Lincoln, liberty; Martin Luther King, liberty in plurality and non-exclusion; Dorothy Day, social justice and the rights of persons; and Thomas Merton, the capacity for dialogue and openness to God.

Four representatives of the American people.

I will end my visit to your country in Philadelphia, where I will take part in the World Meeting of Families. It is my wish that throughout my visit the family should be a recurrent theme. How essential the family has been to the building of this country! And how worthy it remains of our support and encouragement! Yet I cannot hide my concern for the family, which is threatened, perhaps as never before, from within and without. Fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and the family. I can only reiterate the importance and, above all, the richness and the beauty of family life.

In particular, I would like to call attention to those family members who are the most vulnerable, the young. For many of them, a future filled with countless possibilities beckons, yet so many others seem disoriented and aimless, trapped in a hopeless maze of violence, abuse and despair. Their problems are our problems. We cannot avoid them. We need to face them together, to talk about them and to seek effective solutions rather than getting bogged down in discussions. At the risk of oversimplifying, we might say that we live in a culture which pressures young people not to start a family, because they lack possibilities for the future. Yet this same culture presents others with so many options that they too are dissuaded from starting a family.

A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty as Lincoln did, when it fosters a culture which enables people to "dream” of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton.

In these remarks I have sought to present some of the richness of your cultural heritage, of the spirit of the American people. It is my desire that this spirit continue to develop and grow, so that as many young people as possible can inherit and dwell in a land which has inspired so many people to dream.

God bless America!

Suffering Has Its Purpose

I want to make it clear, I’m not putting this season of Reign down because my favorite couples aren’t together (my favorite couples weren’t together in the first season either). I’m not mad at this show because I want my favorite ships to get together and be happy, happy, happy. No, I’m mad because people are breaking up and cheating on each other or being raped or abused for no reason other than to cause potential romantic drama and to set up love triangles…love triangles that have no purpose other than to put a damper on “true wuv” and cause more angst. 

I’m fine with Greer and Leith breaking up, in fact I think their backslide didn’t make much sense in the first place from Greer’s POV other than her being lonely, and I perfectly understand her reasons for not continuing with Leith. I’m mad that Castleroy was tossed aside after having him marrying Greer and making it a big deal that she chose him….only for the show to get rid of him after he appeared in only two more episodes–if they weren’t going to have him on the show much then there was no reason for her to marry him. Though I have to say Greer’s problematic love life has had some of a purpose this season and has actually made her character grow, a growth which I hope will stick with her next season (unlike Kenna who grew some at the end of last season and her character development was bludgeoned and pushed aside early on in season 2). 

Just about every other love triangle and romantic suffering on this show hasn’t had much of a purpose than to cause momentary angst and to give characters a reason to cheat. 

Do we get to see Catherine help take charge and help Francis rule? No, instead of being the strong, independent bad-ass from last season, instead Catherine spends most of this season making out with ghost Henri, missing ghost Henri, being tormented by her ghost children, and sleeping with Narcisse. Um…what happened to her character? And the only reason she and Narcisse are together at the moment is to put a wedge between Narcisse and Lola’s possible romance, there’s no other reason but that.

Do we get to see Mary and Francis rule together? Nope, instead Mary berates Francis, Francis lets everyone walk over him (up until recently), and the two are torn apart for another love triangle which isn’t nearly as well written as the love triangle in season 1, but even the Mary/Bash/Francis love triangle was problematic, but it looks near perfect compared to the mess that is Conde/Mary/Francis. Mary gives big speeches and likes to remind people that’s she a queen but she NEVER does anything ANYONE in charge would do, she only thinks about herself, and is a HORRIBLE queen, wife, friend, and person. 

Do we get to see Kenna and Bash work out married life? Nope. They’re barely in the first few episodes though they seem pretty happy there, but then out of nowhere romantic bullshit angst comes along and ruins everything for no apparent reason other than to create more romantic drama. WHY??? Neither Kenna or Bash have learned anything from this, every episode is nearly the same with the two of them, and they haven’t grown at all, in fact all of the character development and progression they’ve made has disappeared and they’ve since become shallow remains of themselves. Instead of being loyal and fierce, Kenna is now all about sex. Instead of being brave, caring, and everyone’s favorite Bastard, Bash has become…a whiny, boring bastard. 

Lola has grown some this season, but the only time her character has anything to do is when she’s with a man, like Francis or Narcisse, and even those scenes have forced romantic undertones. 

Instead of giving Louis Bourbon a personality, we instead are subjected to his wanting sex and power while furrowing his eyebrows constantly, This character could have been freaking amazing, one the audience could root for and feel sorry for at the same time, but now…he’s so boring…and most of the viewers can’t wait until he dies, in fact they’re counting down the days. He wasn’t built up as a proper villain, he wasn’t given anything really, instead the writers pushed him together with Mary and then with Elizabeth instead of developing his character, giving him a reason to do what he does, and feel the way he does. It’s so disappointing because I think the real Louis de Bourbon is one of the most fascinating figures from this time period, a man who inspired people, had charisma, was a good leader, a heroic underdog at war with his religious beliefs and his lustful side while trying to survive in a country that wants him and all others that share his beliefs dead. How could the writers have messed up such a wonderful character? I don’t know how it’s possible, but they have screwed up every single amazing storyline that was gift wrapped and left at their doorstep, which they then decided to stomp on, piss on, and then hand back to the viewers. How is it possible for them to screw almost everything up? You’d think it’d be impossible, but by god they’ve done it somehow. 

And all of this focus on love triangles and boring characters’ boring love lives is soooooo boooooring and repetitive, it makes the plot move at a glacial pace, most episodes end up feeling the same or are filled with repetitive or filler scenes which are nearly the same as what we just saw in the episode before. The writers have more than proven they can’t handle love triangles and these sort of story lines, and yet they focus on them time and time again, moving away from this show’s strengths and the writers’ strengths. 

How is it possible for the writers to continually screw up this much? 

3

Pope Francis Urged Compassion In His Address To Congress

Pope Francis delivered a speech to U.S. lawmakers on Thursday morning, calling on leaders to consider the plight of the poor and vulnerable in society.

He touched on climate change, the refugee crisis, the death penalty and income inequality.

You can read the full speech here, and check out more of our coverage at HuffPost Politics.

Pope Francis’s speech to Congress will be dissected for years to come. Great and brave speech. History making.

He went there on everything.

Poverty. Income Inequality

Climate Change

Arms Trade

Extremism

Death Penalty

Immigration. Dignity of human life.

Young people and abuse and other issues.

It was such a progressive speech.

First ever Pope to give a speech to Congress. Amazing courage. Well made speech. Very clever for the people he chose to use to craft his speech. Martin Luther King and his dream, Dorothy Day - a progressive nun who fought for the poor and two others

The Pope preached. Brilliant

(He only shook John Kerry’s hand. No one else when walking in and out of the speech)

There Comes You ~A Joshifer One-Shot~

Hello there everyone! Hope you’ve recovered at least a little bit from Mockingjay wrapping up, and I hope you’ve been having a wonderful weekend so far! In the beginning of June, I happened to have a conversation with the wonderful cazamtothemax. We were just throwing Joshifer jokes and headcanons back and forth, and one joke she said caught my eye in particular. I actually decided to incorporate that in to a one-shot, and I haven’t stopped thanking her for the idea ever since!

So then. This one-shot follows the events surrounding the end of Mockingjay filming, with special twists and turns all throughout.

I might as well also give a disclaimer; this story is purely fictional, and I am not stating that any ideas listed within this one-shot actually took place…Though that doesn’t stop me from dreaming lol!

Now then. Without further adoooo~

There Comes You

“And cut!”

My heart clenches in my chest as Francis yells those two words from across the set.

Technically, I finished filming one or two nights ago. It’s kind of difficult to pin point when, as this past week has mostly been a blur of emotion.

There has been a lot of crying, Jennifer especially. Though everyone is struggling with the idea of not being able to film within the franchise, it seems to be hitting her the hardest.

She cried every time someone wrapped their role, cried when props were put away, and cried when I dyed my hair back to brown once again. It breaks my heart to see her so unhappy, as I’m used to her beaming, shining smile and her contagious laughter.

So when Francis continues with his speech, I immediately find myself scanning the set, hoping to get to her as soon as possible.

“That’s a wrap! Congratulations everyone, and I’d like to thank you all for being so cooperative and so…”

His voice fades out as my focus hones in, gently shoving my way through the hoards of crew members to reach the woman of my affections. People are clapping, and as I pass by, they seemingly want to engage in conversation. But just this once, I shrug them off, wanting only to find Jennifer.

Soon enough, I do find her, but I cannot help but look over her in a stunned silence.

Keep reading

Another really wonderful thing about Pope Francis is that he addressed Charlie Hebdo with basically “I condemn the killing of others over religion but also must stress that freedom of speech is not meant to insult or speak harm of something so personal and important to people” and then went on to say “my good friends know that if somebody insulted my mother I would punch them" 

so what we can glean from this is that

  • The Pope shares my general sentiment about the whole issue
  • The Pope loves his mother and takes no shit

and at the end of his whole sermon he told people to be grateful and to pray for and bless PEOPLE OF OTHER NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS AND NON-CATHOLIC CHRISTIANS

do you know how many other popes have shown that level of candid openness to people outside their religion? I can count them on one hand and that hand is a fist.

Pope Francis is a great guy tbh