Friday, September 25, 2015

#PopeinUS - Hipster Highlights of the UN Address

The Pope's address to the UN was even more exciting and powerful to me than yesterday's speech to Congress, in all honesty.

Despite the fact that I was driving North on 680 while listening, I tried to jump up out of my seat multiple times in excitement and appreciation of the Pope's words (shout out to my seat belt for keeping me safe).

For the full text of this morning's speech, click here.

Here are a few of the highlights from a Catholic Hipster point of view:

"The common home of all men and women must continue to rise on the foundations of a right understanding of universal fraternity and respect for the sacredness of every human life, of every man and every woman, the poor, the elderly, children, the infirm, the unborn, the unemployed, the abandoned, those considered disposable because they are only considered as part of a statistic."

"For this reason, while regretting to have to do so, I must renew my repeated appeals regarding to the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement. In wars and conflicts there are individual persons, our brothers and sisters, men and women, young and old, boys and girls who weep, suffer and die. Human beings who are easily discarded when our only response is to draw up lists of problems, strategies and disagreements."

"An ethics and a law based on the threat of mutual destruction – and possibly the destruction of all mankind – are self-contradictory and an affront to the entire framework of the United Nations, which would end up as “nations united by fear and distrust”. There is urgent need to work for a world free of nuclear weapons, in full application of the non-proliferation Treaty, in letter and spirit, with the goal of a complete prohibition of these weapons."

"Our world demands of all government leaders a will which is effective, practical and constant, concrete steps and immediate measures for preserving and improving the natural environment and thus putting an end as quickly as possible to the phenomenon of social and economic exclusion, with its baneful consequences: human trafficking, the marketing of human organs and tissues, the sexual exploitation of boys and girls, slave labor, including prostitution, the drug and weapons trade, terrorism and international organized crime. Such is the magnitude of these situations and their toll in innocent lives, that we must avoid every temptation to fall into a declarationist nominalism which would assuage our consciences. We need to ensure that our institutions are truly effective in the struggle against all these scourges."

Once again, I have to give the Pope some serious props for touching on key issues that are of immense importance, while not speaking in a tone that turns off any of his listeners.

This speech condemned abortion, the trafficking of human organs and tissues, extremist groups killing those throughout the Middle East and elsewhere, nuclear weapons, and on and on and on. And it was all done in a way that was inclusive and "listen-able" to all, no matter their political ideology.

It has been so impressive and inspiring to hear him speak while on this trip, and I can barely contain my excitement for his address to the World Meeting of Families!

Keep up the good work, Pope Francis!

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