Sen. Chris Murphy calls Pope’s visit an inspiration

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement today after Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress during his historic visit to the United States:

"It was an extraordinary honor to have heard Pope Francis address Congress today. His humility and courage are an inspiration to all Americans, regardless of faith. He has given a voice to the voiceless and challenged leaders from around the world to confront global challenges head on. Today, the Pope continued his groundbreaking papacy and challenged the United States Congress to make lasting progress on important issues including climate change, poverty, and the humanitarian crisis abroad.

"The pontiff reaffirmed that we are in a time of crisis: the moment to act on climate change is now and this Congress has an important role to play. Without aggressive policies to take on what he described as ‘environmental deterioration caused by human activity,’ the health and safety of millions around the world is at risk. He called for us to alleviate poverty and hunger – to stick up for the populations who have no voice in the political process and to promote economic opportunity for families across America. He reminded my colleagues that the United States has a long tradition of providing safe haven to those fleeing persecution and war.

"I took particular note of his admonition that ‘if we want security, let us give security.’ This was his challenge for the United States to get off the sidelines of the ongoing humanitarian and refugee crisis in Iraq and Syria, possibly the worst humanitarian disaster of our times.

"I’m hopeful that my colleagues will take up the Pontiff’s challenge to put aside partisan politics and work together to build a community ‘which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, it’s social life.’ It is our moral imperative to be good stewards of the earth and generous to those in need, and I hope we live up to Pope Francis’s challenge in the days ahead."