It was a historic moment as Pope Francis made his way into the halls of Congress. For the first time in history, the leader of the Catholic Church spoke to a joint session of Congress, much to the dismay of many fans and viewers of Fox News.
Francis has rocked the boat since being elected in 2013. Often speaking out in favor of strict and quick action on climate change, immigration reform, and the end of the death penalty, Francis has endeared himself to more liberal Americans in the United States. These topics, among others, were addressed during his speech to Congress on Sept. 24, but the reaction from some fans on the Fox News Facebook page weren’t so welcoming.
“The pope is a farce,” one Facebook user wrote, before saying, “This mortal man is here to elevate this idiot of a president who is single handedly destroying the fabric of this nation.” The comments didn’t get any kinder, as one user said, “This is the first liberal Pope, likely paid to be here by Obama and his minions in order to manipulate the masses into believing Obama is something worthy of God.”
Many took shots at Francis’ support of immigration reform and his sympathy to the Syrian refugee crisis. “He needs to STOP being political!!!!! It’s ridiculous let him and the Vatican take all the refugees and ILLEGAL immigrants!!!!,” another user said with emotion. Another comment stated, “Why doesn’t this pope go on his illegals tour to the countries they are coming from demanding that their countries and their citizens take care of them.” For some viewers, their comments were full of less detail, and were just short and to the point, with one reading, “CROOK,CLOWN,LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Others simply said “He is a joke” and the “pope is a Muslim.”
Not all the comments from Fox News Facebook fans were negative. Some were quoted as saying “Love you Pope Francis,” and “The Pope reminds America that our stature in the world bears great responsibility especially to the support of the families and the honest work of the poor.” Though not all of those who commented were critical of Francis, the tone was more negative than expected.
While Francis’ speech to Congress was not intended to be political, it’s hard for anyone to deny that’s how it came out. During his speech, Francis spoke about the “Golden Rule,” Matthew 7:12 in the Bible, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That line brought on the longest applause from members of Congress, and though the effort is to bring people together, it appears many are still not listening.