From Kelly McLaughlin and Ollie Gilman writing at the Daily Mail:
Pope Francis made a thinly-veiled swipe at Donald Trump as the Pontiff defended Latino immigrants who came to America at ‘great personal cost’ during a moving speech to 40,000 followers in Philadelphia.
Francis called on migrants from Mexico and the rest of the world to “not feel discouraged by all the challenges and hardships” they face, saying they should never feel ashamed of their own traditions.
The Pope’s words come in direct contrast to Trump’s calls for a wall to be built along the Mexican border and for stricter controls on who can enter the U.S.
Speaking from the lectern used by President Abraham Lincoln when he delivered the Gettysburg Address, Francis directly addressed America’s Hispanic population, saying: “Thank you for opening the doors. Many of you have emigrated. I greet you with my heart.
“Many of you came to this country at great personal cost, but in the hope of building a new life. Do not feel discouraged by all the challenges and hardships you might face. I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to this new nation of yours.
“Please: do not feel ever ashamed of your traditions.”
He continued: “Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which can bring an enrichment to life of this American land. You are also called to be responsible citizens. You are called to be responsible citizens and to contribute, like others, with so much resilience before you — to contribute fruitfully to the life of the communities in which you live.
“Do not forget what happened here over two centuries ago. Do not forget the declaration which said all men and women were created equally — to be equal — that governments exist to protect and defend these rights.”
The speech seemed to be a nod towards Donald Trump’s views on immigration from Mexico. Just yesterday, at the Oklahoma State Fair, the Republican presidential front runner said: “Mexico… I love Mexico — I love the Mexican people, thousands of them work for me — but we’ve gotta build a wall on the border.
“We’re gonna build a wall and we’re gonna have a door in the wall where people who wanna come in can come in legally.”
The crowd erupted in cheers as Pope Francis stepped out of Independence Hall on Saturday to give a speech on religious freedom and immigration. He kept his composure as the hood of his white cloak blew into his face, brushing it aside on what was a windy afternoon.
Standing before this city’s iconic Independence Hall, Pope Francis gave a ringing endorsement of religious freedom and immigration on Saturday, urging his American hosts to avoid a “superficial quest for unity.”
“In this witness, which frequently encounters powerful resistance,” the Pope said, “you remind American democracy of the ideals for which it was founded, and that society is weakened whenever and wherever injustice prevails.”
Drawing cheers from the large crowd on Independence Mall, where many of the faithful waved flags from countries such as Costa Rica and Mexico, the Argentine-born Francis urged his diverse flock to “never be ashamed of your traditions.”
The Pope has praised the country’s immigrant history during nearly every speech of his weeklong visit to the United States, which ends Sunday evening. The issue resonates with him personally, he said Wednesday in Washington, since not only is he Latin American, but his parents immigrated to Argentina.
Francis made his remarks from the same lectern Abraham Lincoln used to give the Gettysburg Address, a fitting setting for a speech stressing freedom.
While he ranged widely in Saturday’s speech — using geometry to make a point about globalization, for example — the address was just as notable for what he did not say.
The archbishop of Philadelphia, Charles Chaput, an ardent culture warrior, said he asked the Pope to address religious freedom in the birthplace of American independence.
Francis paid historical homage to those values, citing, for example, the Quakers who founded this city. But there were no explicit references to any of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ recent battles over religious rights.
There was no mention, for example, of the Little Sisters of the Poor’s lawsuit against the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. (On Wednesday, though Francis did meet with the nuns in Washington — a “show of support,” according to a Vatican spokesman.)
Francis never mentioned the Catholic adoption agencies that have closed rather than place children with gay couples. Nor did he explicitly allude to the “Fortnight for Freedom” that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have held to rally support against “current threats to religious liberty.”