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.