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​In the United States
to be close to the people

· ​The Pope speaks of his upcoming visit ·

“Meeting you fills me with hope. I am praying for you, for all the people of the United States, and I ask you to please pray for me. Thank you”. Pope Francis thus concluded his virtual audience, which served as a prelude to his upcoming visit to the United States from 23 to 28 September in Washington, D.C., New York and Philadelphia. Taped a few days before, the audience was broadcast on Friday evening, 4 September, on the U.S. television network, ABC.

The host of “World News Tonight”, David Miur, was in the Vatican with the Pope who connected via satellite with three groups in different states: students from Cristo Re Jesuit High School in Chicago, which serves poor and marginalized young people; the men and women of homeless shelters in Los Angeles, as well as the volunteers who work there; and the parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, Texas, located 5 miles from the border with Mexico. The transmission lasted approximately 90 minutes, during which the Pope answered in Spanish with a few lines in English.

Explaining his desire to come to the United States, the Pope said: “when I get close to the people, as I am going to do with you all, I find it easier to understand them and help them on the path of life. It’s because of this that this trip is so important, to make myself close to your path and your history”.

Francis then spoke to young people, asking them not to walk “alone in life” and to have “the courage to move forward”. Speaking to current social problems, the Pope spoke of the issue of immigration, “the number of people who today”, he said, “migrate from their country seeking a better future and they die, so many die along the way”. “All of us”, he continued, “are created for social friendship. All of us have responsibility for everyone”. The world pushes for “social enmity” and leaves each of us to fend for ourselves. In front of this reality, he said, “Each one has to make a choice in his or her heart, and we have to help that choice to be made in the heart. Escaping through addictions or violence doesn’t help, only closeness and the giving of myself, what I can give”. 




St. Peter’s Square

Feb. 28, 2020