WASHINGTON — In his address to Congress on Thursday, Pope Francis never mentioned the politically charged words “climate change” or “abortion.” He never asked America to fix its immigration system or reduce carbon emissions.He didn’t have to. It was all right there at a moral level that flew above the political fray – and at the same time dived directly into it. That was obvious from the response of lawmakers, as Democrats applauded and jumped to their feet during the environmental section while Republicans got a standing ovation rolling during the section on family.
Many lawmakers’ tweets, too, reflected their political orientation.As James Weiss, a papal historian at Boston College puts it, “the spiritual is always the political in the Catholic Church.” Moral imperatives have to be acted on, and that, by nature, makes them political. “Every moral position has a political implication. It’s naive to think otherwise.”