Tag Archives: U.S. Catholics

Emil Guillermo: Pope’s historical address to Congress? Not “State of the Union,” I call it a “State of the Soul” address; Four icons, and a big shout out for climate change activists.


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.”

Read my story on NBC News.com

Emil Guillermo: Pope Francis will see how Asian American his U.S. flock has become

Alighting from his papel plane, Pope Francis gets a little wind in his face. But it shouldn’t stop him from seeing just how Asian American his U.S. flock has become.
Filipinos at 2.2 million are the largest Asian American group of U.S. Catholics. But the smaller groups like the Burmese Americans, a growing refugee community are growing throughout the U.S.
The pope was smiling when he saw the president at Andrews Air Force Base. No doubt the Iran deal that the pope helped broker will come up.  But as the pope mixes with the politicos, I think his June encyclical on global warming and the call for a new politics that protects what he calls “our common home,”  will make it into his comments before Congress and the U.N.
As for tonight, he gets to rest. Maybe he’ll watch the season 2 premier of “Fresh Off the Boat”?