WASHINGTON, DC — House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) offered the following response after Pope Francis’s address to a joint session of Congress.
“Pope Francis has called all Americans—and all people of good will—to build a more inclusive and more hopeful world. I have every belief our country will answer that call.
“I could not agree more when Pope Francis says politics must serve the good of the human person. We must reject what he calls the ‘throwaway culture’ and embrace the marginalized and excluded. As he said in his encyclical, Laudato Si, ‘We require a new and universal solidarity.’ And we must always ‘keep in mind the principle of subsidiarity, which grants freedom to develop the capabilities present at every level of society.’ These twin principles should inform all of our political debates.
“I was pleased that Pope Francis brought particular attention to the pressing issue of religious liberty, with his impromptu visit with the Little Sisters of the Poor. His statements and example in defense of our First Amendment freedoms are both timely and inspiring.
“The Pope delivered a wonderful pastoral speech before Congress and invited a dialogue in which we must keep in mind our nation’s founding principles, which are rooted in our natural rights. I am deeply thankful for his presence.
“Lastly, what I find most striking about Pope Francis is his great joy. In all that he has done, he has shown how a Catholic should speak and act. We all should follow his example. He is a great leader of the Catholic Church. He is the ‘happy messenger’ of the good news.”