Pope Francis is big on ideals — but small on solutions

Pope Francis is big on ideals — but small on solutions

Pope Francis has enjoyed a high-spirited welcome in the United States. The infectiously likable pope kissed babies along his parade route in Washington, DC and performed a soaringly beautiful Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine there.

He is an endearingly charismatic figure, but judging by his speech before a joint session of Congress, not exactly an orator.

His wording was at times stilted. The pope talked about entering “into dialogue” — with workers, with the elderly, with young people — and said he wanted “to do so through the historical memory of your people.”

The most memorable line of the entire address was the concluding, “God bless America!” — an obligatory sentiment that gains much more heft coming from the bishop of Rome.

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