Pontiff commends religious freedom in America

Francis said the right to religious liberty is one of America's precious possessions.

 

Pope Francis commended America for its freedom in religion during his speech at the White House today.

According to Mark Knoller, White House correspondent for CBS News, Francis said the right to religious liberty is one of America's precious possessions.

He further said that it is important for everyone to be good citizens so as to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten it.

Francis said the right to religious liberty “remains one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States Bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise."

But Obama wisely pre-empted some of this, saying  before Francis spoke - “people are only free if they can practice their faith freely”. He added: “Here in the US we cherish religious liberty” and “we stand with you in defence of religious freedom”

Both men may have been referring to the persecution of Christians around the world, particularly in the Middle East, and the difficulties faced by other religions in practicing their faith.

See tweets from Mark Knoller below;

Francis was reported to have ended his speech with 'God bless America

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