Pope Francis "took enough shots at both sides" of the spectrum since arriving in the United States to consider his visit strictly political, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See Francis Rooney told Newsmax TV
"The pope is the penultimate global moral leader," Rooney, who served from 2005 to 2008, told "The Hard Line" host Ed Berliner. "As such, when he speaks, he speaks to the world or he speaks to the United States … in a global context, basically putting out aspirational themes, which he did today."
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Among the diverse issues Pope Francis has spoken on in his first visit to the United States include immigration, climate change, Islamic jihadism — as well as helping the poor and defending human life.
"He's a very complex guy, and it's hard to pigeon-hole him in one thing or another," Rooney told Berliner. "There have been times where he's been pigeon-holed as a liberal socialist, as a rabid environmental reformer.
"But when you read what he said, and we hear these different speeches and different contexts, he's a little-more nuanced. He said today that business was an essential service to the common good. I thought that was a great statement from a guy who is from Argentina and is historically suspicious of business.
"I thought he had some very aspirational comments about the greatness of the United States today," the former ambassador added. "Almost like he's calling us to lead the world, which is something that we all feel."
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