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Papal politics: How Pope Francis stirs the culture wars in D.C.




Pope Francis leans out and waves to the crowd as he rides in a popemobile along a parade route around the National Mall on September 23, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Pope Francis leans out and waves to the crowd as he rides in a popemobile along a parade route around the National Mall on September 23, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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The most politicized pontiff in contemporary history is in Washington D.C. this week.

This morning, he was welcomed by a crowd of thousands along a parade route to the White House. President Barack Obama introduced Pope Francis who addressed an audience of 15,000 on topics ranging from religious liberty to pollution and immigration - all hot, divisive matters in the current political climate.

“As the son of an immigrant family, I’m happy to be a guest in this country which was largely built by such families,” said Francis.

Speaking to President Barack Obama he said, “I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem we can longer be left to a future generation (sic).”

Tomorrow, Pope Francis will address the U.S. Congress. AirTalk will preview his remarks and how politicos are spinning Francis’ remarks.

​Guests:

Patti Miller, Senior Correspondent, "Religion Dispatches;" Author, "Good Catholics: The Battle over Abortion in the Catholic Church" (University of California, 2014)

Chad Pecknold, Associate Professor of Theology, The Catholic University of America; Author, "Christianity and Politics: A Brief Guide to the History" (Cascade, 2010)