Moved by the pope as I live tweeted.
Francis mentioned four American icons: Lincoln, MLK, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.
Congress cheered the first two–but seemed in the dark about the two Catholics mentioned. Day was a legendary journalist and activist for the poor. A lay person who is now being considered for sainthood, Day fought for social justice issues in a completely self-less way. In many ways, Francis in his ways, is much like Day. Merton was a Trappist monk who encouraged openness, dialogue. And that was the hopeful idea of Francis to Congress–that there is a way out of the divisive, polarizing politics of the day, that could lead us to a consensus for the common good.
Rep. Ted Lieu of California described the room as electric when the pope was introduced. Lieu, a climate change activist, was encouraged by the support the pope’s urging that something must be done to protect the earth, “our common home.”