The historic speech to lawmakers at the Capitol was keenly anticipated and warmly received -- but will have been uncomfortable listening for some there who are skeptical about environmental causes and opposed to immigration.
"Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War," Pope warned, referring to the wave of refugees arriving in Europe from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
"On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities," he added, referring to immigrants from Mexico and Central America.
"We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation”, Pope said.
Many conservatives in the US Senate and House of Representatives deny that climate change is a result of mankind's industry and agriculture, and have opposed emissions controls designed to slow global warming.
The Pope urged them to instead seek 'courageous' and 'responsible' solutions 'to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.'


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