Ambassador Kenneth Hackett said the Pope’s immigration message will be important as lead GOP presidential contender Donald Trump has called for a border fence between Mexico and the United States and the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants, the Associated Press reports.
“I think he’ll call us to continue to engage with it (the world), don’t throw any walls up around our nation, don’t revert to isolationism,” he said. “We are a nation of welcoming people, so that’s where I think he will put his attention.”
In addition to immigration, Hackett says Pope Francis will likely wish to discuss income inequality, family issues, and the environment while he is in the country.
AP also observes that President Barack Obama is about to fully pass the baton of “rock-star status” from himself to Pope Francis, who has “embraced many of the issues Obama has sought to advance, including global warming, poverty, and diplomacy with Iran and Cuba.”
Pope Francis has “transcended the Roman Catholic community,” AP states, adding that Obama has referred to him as a “transformative leader.”
Similarly, Vice President Joe Biden has said the pontiff’s visit to the United States next month will be an important event for all Americans, not only Catholics.
“Pope Francis has breathed new life into what I believe is the central mission of our faith: Catholic social doctrine,” Biden said in a statement. The vice president added the Pope “has become a moral rudder for the world on some of the most important issues of our time, from inequality to climate change.”
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