Pope Visit Backfires On Republicans As Obama and Francis Team Up On Climate Change

pope francis speaks at the white house

Almost immediately, Pope Francis and President Obama negated any Republican hopes of using the Pope’s visit to score political points by teaming up at the White House on a climate change message.


During his remarks, the President said, “And, Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet, God’s magnificent gift to us. We support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to changing climate, and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations.”

Pope Francis spoke positively about President Obama’s proposed steps to combat climate change:

Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to our future generation. When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the change needed to bring about a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.

Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them. Our common home has been part of this group of the excluded, which cries out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities, our societies. To use a telling phrase of the Reverend Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note, and now is the time to honor it.

Republicans are some of the few remaining holdouts in the world who have a stated public policy position that deny the reality of climate change. The U.S. visit by Pope Francis will contain many of these kinds of uncomfortable moments for the Republican Party.

A political party that tries to define itself with their version of religious liberty has quite a few policy disagreements with one of the world’s most powerful religious leaders. The Pope’s feelings on income inequality and immigration are two issues that should make Republicans squirm.

The cynical eye with which Republicans are treating the Pope’s visit is demonstrated by Mitch McConnell’s plan to hold a vote to defund Planned Parenthood on the same day that Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress.

Instead of creating political opportunity, the visit by Pope Francis is already reinforcing how out of touch Republicans are with the rest of the world.

33 Replies to “Pope Visit Backfires On Republicans As Obama and Francis Team Up On Climate Change”

  1. “To use a telling phrase of the Reverend Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note, and now is the time to honor it.”

    Possibly the most tactful way that the Pope just told the Republican Party to go to Hell.

    Winston Churchill was most impressed, Pontifex.

  2. I think Republicans like the idea of being out of touch with the rest of the world. You know, exceptionalism! Can they get any more regressive?

  3. Same thought, 1 million agrees. I think they are “brothers from another mother”. These two great leaders really seem to like each other. Who da thunk it? Two rational people can sit and discuss like adults(no face making, rumpy). Thats how a leader leads!

  4. Since MSNBC threw out the liberals and got Chuck Toad and friends I have not watched that channel, this morning, as I wanted to see the coverage of the Pope, I don’t mind the hispanic catholic anchor of the 9 am
    time slot – Behold Scarboro, The Toad, Andrea Mitchell etc, Mitchell has been on all morning, does any one else think this is wierd, she is jewish!
    Of course she has to have her face all over when a dignitary is here.

  5. I can see the headlines now of the religious right zealot repub, branch of the X-tains.

    SARC – “mark our words today in history we have viewed the ‘antichrist and the false prophet’ as told in the Bible sitting together at WH. (sarc).

  6. The Republicans have shown they don’t care about the living. They don’t care about civil obedience. They don’t believe in an educated society, individual rights or love for one another.

    With their mean-spirited, hypocritical disrespect of Pope Francis, we can indubitably conclude that the republicans really don’t stand for a damn thing.

  7. Yeah, I too felt sadness at the news. RIP Yogi. Thanks for the many chuckles over the years. Thoroughly enjoyed the way you played ball!

  8. Joan, on CSPAN, there are no pundits, talking heads or inane chatter the viewers are usually subjected to while watching network or cable news channels.

    You might even be able to hear a pin drop.

  9. One of the reasons GOP is so hateful = the way that Pope Francis honors Martin Luther King’s ORDAINED spiritual leadership on the matter of social and economic justice in the following quote from this morning’s speech at the White House.

    Person’s in this pope’s position choose their words purposefully, so of all of the different ways Pope Francis could have referred to Dr. King, he chose this one:

    “. . . To use a telling phrase of the REVEREND Martin Luther King (emphasis added), we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it. . . .”

  10. I believe you mean…

    This Pope comes to America and HAS TO SCHOOL the republicans, but their heads are too dense to be taught.

  11. He was a scientist before he became a bishop and Pope. The Teathugligoons were not. Not a single one. Even Ben Uncle Tom Carson, a brain surgeon, knows how to dissect one but not how to use his.

  12. Republicans represent the evil “False Prophet” personna. Ainti’ Christ, we ain’t doin’ nunthin’ to help Muricunz. We got our’s, need to keep the world warm, cooling makes it harder getting into hell’s entrance at night.

  13. “Possibly the most tactful way that the Pope just told the Republican Party to go to Hell.”
    No surprise fish; your statement reveals you, and the VAST majority of Dems, didn’t even read the Pope’s Encyclical, Laudato Si, or you would know that he included the RIGHT to LIFE in it.
    Be ashamed, be very ashamed!

  14. Well, they do care about civil disobedience…as long as it is done by a white man with a gun and as a member of the Oath Keepers.

  15. And your point is…
    It is always about the right to life with y’all…
    Until the child is born and he or she becomes a statistic…a hungry one at that.

  16. “The earth was not given to us by our parents; it is borrowed from our children.” Climate Change is happening. It is past time to quit denying and start fixing it before it is too late for our children.

  17. The rightie press is saying that the Pope “lectured” the President on religious liberty and, later in the day, he talked about protecting “the innocent victim of abortion”. The righties, such as Drudge and the Washington Times claim that the Pope’s message was a “direct challenge to pro-choice politicians, including many Catholics, who have been eager to embrace the pontiff’s economic and environmental messages but reject his teachings on life.”

    So I guess that means that the Repubs think they can ignore everything the Pope has said about climate change and wealth inequality. I hope that someone was able to tell the Pope that we don’t force anyone to get married to someone of the same sex in this country.

  18. USA, the world is watching you.

    The world is following what is said and done by you, what you say and responses the this leader of one of the world’s biggest religious groups.
    This man is a loved and respected leader.

    So far, from what I have heard and seen as a non American, Republicans, particularly GOP, have appeared as fringe lunatics and deniers. Anti-science crazies. Laughable if the result of the GOP/Republican lunacy only affected your country but disgracefully, it doesn’t.

    Time to take a world view USA. Obama and the Pope are telling you the way it is!

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