Greenwich Academy Press

The Student News Site of Greenwich Academy

Greenwich Academy Press

Greenwich Academy Press

The Pope Comes to America

Pope Francis I arrived in the United States on Tuesday, September 22nd and left on Sunday, September 27th, visiting New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Over the course of his visit, the Pope met separately with third and fourth grade students of Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, prisoners of Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, and President Obama and Congress in Washington, D.C. He also conducted multiple masses in each location, met with religious officials, and made remarks concerning the European Union’s current immigration crisis.

“I didn’t think much of [the visit], except to what extent the Pope could use his title and his religious influence to push a political agenda,” said Joey Jiménez, Group XII.

While the Pope officially has no role in politics, his opinion on all matters is heard across the world. Some, however, take issue with the fact that this man, a mere religious leader, wields as much influence as he does.

“Is it justifiable that the Pope can use his power to influence politics, or should he just stick to his religious duties?” added Jiménez.

At the same time, others found Pope Francis inspiring and embraced his progressive opinions.

“I think the Pope visiting the U.S. is an opportunity to get to know him better. He’s exactly the Pope we need at this time when so much has changed. I believe that his visit definitely impacted a lot of people, especially me,” said Oluchi Ihionu, XII.

Specifically regarding Pope Francis’s call on other nations to accept immigrants displaced as a result of either poverty or safety concerns, Kate Connors, XII, commented on the importance of Pope Francis’s voice.

“He gave a huge speech speaking about how America needs to help immigrants and take them in rather than push them out, and I think that’s great… Sophie Cruz is a little girl whose parents are undocumented immigrants, and she broke through the barriers to give the pope a letter,” said Connors.

The letter Cruz gave the Pope has been published on major news outlets, reading: “My friends and I love each other no matter our skin color.” It includes a drawing of her holding hands with other children and Pope Francis.

“I’m not very religious, so it didn’t have a big effect for me, but too many people don’t have the right mindset about that issue, and I think he had a great message to spread about it,” said Connors.

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The Pope Comes to America