in -- as he said as americans and as human beings, i think transforms this normal kind of course political tone that we have been experiencing the last few years in this town. >> representative tim ryan we so appreciate your time and patience and incites. thank you. have a great day. >> thanks for having me. >> i want to head back out to the national mall where my colleague del walters has been all morning with the people. del? >> well, stephanie as you have been talking and as i have been watching the people -- by the way washington is now back to normal, the people are leaving. the climate rally is going on, but the ranks are thin. but we were talking about how the political situation in washington is nothing new. and i want to take you back to a time when nobody in the north
had anything nice to said about the people in the south. and they were building a monument to who they thought was the greatest president of that time, george washington, and every sovereign nation wanted to be part of that, including the vatican, and it sent over what became known as the pope stone. but if you look at the national monument, you'll notice there is a small gray line that separates the construction, because the construction was stopped. the people of washington said they wanted the vatican have nothing to do with this great man. so they kidnapped it and threw it into the river. so i was wondering when this
great man is speaking, he must be wondering right now, did they hear me? and one thing that history has proven in washington as we look at the monument, is that history often writes stories that we can never believe further down the road, but they are stories nonetheless. so that is the perspective from the pope, a humble man addressing a very powerful body, and as we see him there in washington, d.c. and hear the way he has been received, he has changed this city more in recent times than anybody i have seen come here in recent days. stephanie? >> del, thank you. we are seeing the pope here. he continues his visit to st. patrick church here. and you can see him greeting lay people, of course everyone with their phones. he has a bit of a limp that we noticed in the last couple of days.
this has been a long trip for him. he has only been in the u.s. for a couple of days, but he was first in cuba. he is 78 years old. he only has a single lung. he is in good health, but patrick hornbeck, we can certainly see, he must be at least somewhat fatigued. >> i think that's right. he does seem more energetic today than he was yesterday. moving in this crowd, it looked like he just said grace before a meal. it's a tent where there's about 200 homeless persons who are clients of catholic charities there in washington, d.c. he wished them a good meal. this common humble touch has been on display throughout the day both in spanish marks and in english, when at the end of his time on the capitol balcony, he
said god bless america. what a beautiful moment from this pope. >> patrick thank you. another focus has been the environment. he has been very vocal on climate change and he said this, quot quote: francis is the first to mix science and religion this way, using scientific data to highlight climate change in his second encyclical to bishops earlier this year. he also said: joining us now to talk more about this topic, john gehring, the catholic program director at state and public life, and he helped organize today's massive
rally on the mall. thank you for joining us. we heard him talk about climate change, sment several minutes on it in his address to congress. was it enough to break the stalemate? >> first i would say this was a deeply spiritual, moving experience, i think for most americans. to the specific issue of climate change. he called all of us to care for our common home. and i do think you are going to see that message break through. he speaks about it in such an eloquent way, and brings in a spiritual dimension that this really has the opportunity to elevate the conversation. >> can we talk about the theology for a second. is there a tension among christians and catholics when it comes to church teachings on the environment. human beings as stewards of the
earth, and man as sort of in charge of the earth, able to exploit its resources. is there a tension in church teaching, or has pope francis made it more clear? >> well, i can speak to is the catholic social tradition, and the way that pope francis speaks about the environment is with human dignity. our identity as individuals is wrapped up with the fate of the earth. we see it as god's creation, and we're called to be prudent stewards. and that's a message that will resinate far beyond. and i think the pope is a great messenger and can reach people beyond the progressive choir on this issue, and the most important something what do we do now with this message? >> there are other christian communities that have divested from fossil fuel companies, and we are seeing this momentum.
what about among the conservative bishops and conservative hierarchy in the catholic church? are that on board with this environmental message that the pope is pushing? >> there have been more than a hundred catholic bishops in this country who have put out statements talking about the pope's encyclical. so i do think you are seeing more energy behind this. and i don't think this is an issue that many bishops are necessarily used to speaking about, but you are seeing groups like the catholic climate who are coming in to push this message. the archbishop in miami is doing incredible work. so this pope is shifting the politics of the church and i think that is going to have an impact on our american politics. >> by weighing in on this issue, does the pope have more
credibility. does he come off as the objective voice on climate change. >> pope francis is a global pastor, and he is in a unique position, i think to call us to a deeper sense of values and interconnectedness. the thing that he pushed again and again in this remarks, was the idea of the common good, and we are deeply tied to one another. so he speaks about our environment as a common home. and that challenges both left and right in different ways. >> john gehring, thank you so much for joining us this morning. actually it is past 12:00 east coast time. so good afternoon to you john. the pope slowly meandering his way through this selfie obsessed crowd to a tent where he will be having lunch with some 200
homeless people. we have heard he may actually serve them and not just have lunch with them. but everyone trying to get their photo with pope francis. this is one of those times in which we do see him energized. i want to go back out to del walters, because we have been talking about climate change del, and there was mass rally planned there on the mall. how has the turnout been? >> the turnout for the pope was great. the turnout for the climate change rally is dwindling even as we speak, which was an indication if you were judging this as if it were a fight card, the main event has now left. clearly the pope touched on climate change.
but beyond what the pope says, what will people hear? and that is the question that you have to ask yourself as you watch these crowds start to thin. there is a speaker on the podium right now. they have been speaking the entire morning. it has been one speaker after another, and then there has been a band followed by another band. the question is, you are seeing washington, if anything return to normal. which is this is a city that is used to protests, demonstrations, and rally, but it is not used to seeing change. the congress we are seeing right now has been one of the least productive in history. the bottom line is there has not been much in the way of anything clearing congress in recent years. climate change being one of those issues. there was as you pointed out that iconic moment with senator
marco rubio who is one of those who says climate change is overblown. there was that moment where he wiped the tear, it will be interesting to hear what he says coming out of that. but as mar as what is going on on mall right now, the numbers are dwindling, and will that also be the attention span of washington when it comes to climate change. >> that's a good question. this pope has been speaking about it all along. thank you, del, as we look at these live pictures, the pope now making his way to lunch where he will dine with homeless people from the washington, d.c. area. you are watching al jazeera america live coverage of pope francis's visit to the united states. coming up, we're going to talk about the next leg of pope francis's journey. and that will take him here to the big apple, to new york city.
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unfold from the house gallery. mike that was a common theme, the golden rule, do unto others, and our common home. >> you know, couched in that pastoral theme as the leader of 1.2 billion catholics, a spiritual leader, and i think that's the important thing to remember when he look at this. we as americans sometimes want to reach for the easy label, red, blue, conservative, liberal, but i think the pope while he is aware of the political divisions and the gridlock here in washington, i think he is going for something that transcends all of that. remember, this is the first time he has ever stepped foot in the united states. we have this my openia in this count interest, that we are the center of this universe, and the pope recognizes the importance of this country, and that's why he is here.
he talked about the polarization in this country, and he said, and i'm going to paraphrase here, the think that you hate, you are in danger of becoming yourself. to imitate the hatred of tyrants and murders is the best way to take their place. i think that's a very powerful message. and we were talking earlier there was this reverence and it was different -- it was a completely different speech than a state of the union or any other speech from a leader that has visited. the state of the union speech is theater. this was a completely different animal. everybody is not jumping up at the appropriate times and shouting at the point that talks about their pet issues.
this was a speech that i thought transcended all of that. stephanie. >> there was another part of the speech that i think speaks to what you are saying, the spiritual and pastoral message. and a representative from ohio said that is also how it resinated with him. >> right. >> there was a moment when he said, i am happy that america continues to be for many a land of dreams, and it was one of many standing ovations we saw from the house chamber, maybe a comment on immigration, but more than that, a reminder to these american lawmakers of the founding principles of this country. >> and what flows from that -- right -- is the pope's belief in not only the -- the need to be kind to the strangers among us, he put it, reminding everyone that this is a nation of immigrants, but on the other side of it, things held dear by the point.
the abolition of the death penalty. at one moment he made an oblique reference to abortion, and in the next breath talked about abolishing the death penalty. so a liberal member from new york jumped to her feet and shouted -- and everybody sort of looked over, before she remembered the admonish from the leadership, don't jump back and shout. so she shrunk back in her chair. so it was interesting, the applause lines and the pet issues that you would expect the republicans will cheer for this, the democrats will sit on their hands and vice versa, there was a little bit of that, but that was not really the tone in the chamber, the environment that i think he brought with him into the chamber, and again, i work just outside that chamber for 11 years, coming to the capitol
every day. that was something completely different. i have never seen anything quite like that. i have seen several speeches to joint meetings and joint sessions. >> mike viqueira i appreciate your perspective on that. stand by, we're going to take a quick break here. you are watching al jazeera america's live coverage of pope francis's visit to the united states. he is about to sit down for lunch with 200 or so homeless people from the d.c. area, and we will carry that live coming up. ♪
welcome back. this is a live look at the lunch with homeless people that the pope is attending. and a live look here where the pope has resided during his trip to d.c. he'll make his way back there this afternoon. he'll have a couple of hours of downtime, and then this afternoon he will be heading to new york city. officials say that his visit to new york combined with the up-u.n. general assembly which is in new york presents the largest security challenge new york has ever seen. john henry smith, that is where we find him live in manhattan with more on the security preparations. give us a sense of what the police presence is like already where you are. >> well, stephanie, we have been
here since just past daybreak off and on, and i can tell you in all of our time here, i haven't seen anymore police out here than i typically see, but of course as you mentioned with the pontiff scheduled to arrive later this afternoon, and with him scheduled to take part in all of those events in mid-manhattan, including speaking at madison square garden tomorrow night, you can bet the police presence and their detailed security plans will ratchet up very, very soon. >> people that drive or commute to work, it's going to be a really really hard time. >> reporter: parts of new york city are being locked down for the pope's two-day visit. >> we believe this event will be the largest security chal thaeng the department and this city have ever faced. >> reporter: that's because the pope won't be the only vip in down. united nations dignitaries are coming here as well. >> we will have 170 confirmed
world leaders in this city. >> reporter: the new york city police, along with members of the fbi, secret service and 48 other agencies have been resourcing this day for months. this is one of eight security command centers where police will monitor the streets and the now restricted air space. as of today, the nypd says it is deploying an additional 6,000 officer and 1200 patrol cars. >> they have the resources they need, the equipment, the personnel. >> reporter: on friday the pope visits central park. >> there will be 80,000 people in central park on friday. >> there is the added challenge of protecting a man who likes to mingle with the people. >> this pope has made it quite clear as he has traveled around
the world that he won't be in a bubble. >> reporter: and he celebrates mass with 20,000 people at madison square garden. the venue happens to be right on top of penn station, one of the city's busiest transportation hub. >> are you going to move? >> we have seen all kinds of things in new york city. we'll manage it and go on. >> reporter: of course the end goal is to keep everybody safe. you heard from the mayor in that piece and he said the thing reworries about the most are the type of loan wolf attacks that have been carried out in recent years, but also goes on to indicate that he is fully confident in the preparation of law enforcement to keep everybody safe these next few days in new york city. stephanie? >> i want to bring in patrick
hornbeck for some final thoughts as we wrap up this historic morning for the pope in the u.s. >> absolutely. we're seeing him pulling up right now. we haven't talked much about what wasn't said. the pope talked about beginning of life issues, and family. there are many in the u.s. who don't agree with the pope on issues like abortion or same-sex marriage. as he moves into a broader world stage at the united nations in his speech on friday, we'll see him addressing issues of even more significance. yesterday he showed the bishops how to be pastors. today the talked about being leaders of this country. and on friday we'll see him address the leaders of the world at the united nations. so a lot more to be seen from
this people's pope. >> again, live, the pope's fiat. the vehicle he has been riding around in as it approaches the residence he is staying at. we are continuing to follow the pope's travels in the united states. this wraps up his trip to washington, d.c. i will just leave you with this quote from pope francis, the challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the united states. pope francis doing what we loves to do. greeting the crowds, the masses waiting for him for a hug, a handshake, or a photo. i'm stephanie sy in new york. the news continues in a moment with my colleague, randall
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