Pope Francis calls on the U.S. Congress to work together to combat climate change and help immigrants during his first address to U.S. lawmakers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Fresh off his meeting with President Barack Obama, Pope Francis on Thursday (September 24) spoke to members of a U.S. Congress led by Republicans who have opposed Obama on issues of importance to the pontiff including climate change and immigration. Francis arrived Tuesday (September 23) in Washington on a U.S. trip that also will take him to New York and Philadelphia, became the first pope to address a joint meeting of the Senate and House of Representatives. He urged the lawmakers to protect the most vulnerable in society and pass laws which stimulate the growth of all of its members. The pontiff called on the divided congress to put aside their differences and take action to combat climate change, as well as help migrants fleeing wars. He also took a stand against the death penalty and discussed work on international efforts to resolve conflicts, the U.S. role in helping poorer nations, religious freedom and the "right to life" issues of abortion and euthanasia. During a private meeting with Obama at the White House the day before, the pontiff called the Democratic president's efforts against air pollution "encouraging" and said climate change is a problem the world can no longer leave to future generations to address. The pope's address was frequently interrupted by applause from the enthusiastic group crowded into the chamber.