Pope Francis' speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday felt bigger even than a presidential inauguration, Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman told Newsmax TV.
"I've been a member of Congress since I was sworn in in January of 2009, and so I've been through two presidential inaugurations. This was greater, this was bigger that Catholics from all over the country flew in from Colorado, my home state," Coffman told "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman. "The excitement speaks to the strength of the Catholic Church and it speaks to the strength and faith of America."
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Francis mentioned religious extremism in his speech, but didn’t talk about Islamic extremism specifically. He did mention the plight of Muslims in his homily at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City Thursday night.
"The protection of religious minorities, whatever they are, if it's Muslims and a country dominated by another faith, that is significant, too, but religious freedom and religious tolerance just are so viable and they're fundamental too certainly into our culture," Coffman told Newsmax.
"Certainly Christians are being persecuted throughout the Middle East. It ought to be a concern certainly to the Catholic Church as it is to Christians everywhere."
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