President Barack Obama and Pope Francis married their political and spiritual power to urge action on immigration and the environment Wednesday, during the popular pontiff’s maiden White House visit.
America’s first black president offered the first Latin American pope a stately and effusive welcome on the South Lawn, praising his moral leadership on issues that politics has struggled to address.
“I believe the excitement around your visit must be attributed not only to your role as pope, but to your unique qualities as a person,” Obama told his guest.
“In your humility, your embrace of simplicity, the gentleness of your words and the generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of Jesus’ teachings, a leader whose moral authority comes not just through words but through deeds.”
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