Pope Francis visits the US for the first time


Photo by Martina Rabade

The Pope greets the adoring crowd at his reception.

By Peter Durand, Social Media Manager

Pope Francis met with 25,000 roaring Americans on Sept. 23 by the Catholic University Basilica.

Arriving the previous day, the Pope met with President Obama  Wednesday morning before riding through the streets of D.C. to cheers from adoring crowds.

Driving through the crowds at the Basilica in the afternoon, Pope Francis drove along preset paths with hordes of Catholic U students and people from the surrounding regions pushing towards him.

The crowds were held back by only a waist high fence, with people reaching across to wave and take as many photos and snapchats as possible.

It was every person for themselves, with jostling back and forth and people standing on chairs to maximize the view of the pope and improve the quality of personal photos.

His Holiness proceeded to say a two hour long mass mostly in Spanish, but featuring snippets in English, American Sign Language, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Igbo and Creole.

Pope Francis notably used the mass to canonize Junipero Serra, a Spanish missionary known for his work converting Native Americans in what is now California.

“[Sera] sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it,” Francis said.

Surprisingly, some Native Americans were less than happy with this appointment, feeling that the missionaries in general were not Christ-like in their behaviors.

However, others are of the opinion that making someone who does not leave a perfect legacy a saint may be a calculated move to make more people aspire to sainthood.

“I think it is good to recognize him after so many years,” said Sophomore Martina Rabade who attended the mass. “He put in practice his spirituality.”

Francis later addressed congress and continued to speak about controversial topics such as abortion, the arms trade, climate change, treatment of immigrants and the death penalty.

However, he avoided these topics at the mass at Catholic University, focusing on the dignity of the sacred liturgy. Overall, just seeing him ride past in such close proximity really represented an authentic man who seemed to exude kindness and compassion with every smile.