A huge crowd cheered the pope from behind security barricades as he left the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in Washington, where he had spent the night. They waved Vatican flags and snapped pictures with their phones. He lingered in conversation with some of them.
In a small black Fiat, the pope then took the short ride to the White House for an arrival ceremony, where President Barack Obama praised his “profound moral example.”
“In your humility, your embrace of simplicity, in the gentleness of your words and the generosity of your spirit,” Obama told the pope, “we see a living example of Jesus’ teachings, a leader whose moral authority comes not just through words but also through deeds.”
The president extended a welcome on behalf of 70 million American Catholics and the entire country. In a nod to the refugee crisis in Syria, Obama said that Francis reminded the world that God’s most powerful message is mercy.
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