U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement after Pope Francis’ address to Congress:
“I am honored and humbled to have been present for Pope Francis’ historic address to Congress. This is an important moment for Catholics and all of us who admire his mission to create a more compassionate world. His words were not just a call to faith but a call for peace. He reminded us of Americans throughout history whose work and values have helped make our nation great. He encouraged us to support one another and to continue to be a nation in which everyone can strive to make their dreams reality.
“Pope Francis used his address in part to challenge Congress to work together for the nation — and to use our power responsibly in the world. This message could not be more timely as we struggle to address immigration, confront deep poverty internationally and here in the United States, and respond to violent conflicts around the world that have spurred the most severe refugee crisis since World War II. He urged us to be guided by the simplest and most profound of rules: to do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
“Our nation also is grappling with the globally important question of whether to act to reduce climate-change-causing pollution. I agree with Pope Francis that we should consider the impact that our activity has on all of humanity. He said ‘we need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.’ Climate change is real, so must be our commitment. Congress must use its prominence to lead the world in efforts to reduce climate change. This is a moral issue. We must act today, not leave it for tomorrow or for the generations to come.”