Pope Francis' address to congress brings hope to the Central Valley

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Pope Francis' historic address to congress is giving people hope in the Central Valley.

On Thursday, congress stood still for a moment. There was no gridlock, no bickering, just a pope with a holy message and a request for unity.

"Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a 'culture of care,'" Pope Francis said.

Many watched him speak live. Others, like the Knights of Columbus in Visalia, watched the replay.

Ralph Jimenez said, "Just wanted to get together and be with like-minded people, talk about what the Holy Father has to say."

Pope Francis had a lot to say. He talked for about an hour and touched on poverty, inequality and immigration -- issues plaguing the states as well as the world.

"We must constantly relate to others," Pope Francis said, "Rejecting a mindset of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal sincerity in a constant effort to do our best."

The words made Ralph Jimenez smile, "We're all in this together and I like that he was addressing congress to let them know that we need to care for the less fortunate."

James Wilifong agrees. He says lawmakers don't always see eye to eye but if anyone could get them to put their differences aside, it would be the pope.

"I'm hoping that it does unite everybody, unite congress and hopefully they can work for the common good," Wilifong said.

At the end of the pope's speech, there was applause and standing ovation. 2,700 miles away, at the Knights of Columbus meeting in Visalia, there was a similar reaction but above all else, there was hope for the future.

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