The big question is how effectively he can apply his accumulated soft power to make a difference on the world stage. [...] But the pope's most audacious foreign-policy move has been a crusade against worldwide income inequality and environmental degradation, including man-made climate change.
For three days this week, New York will be the center of the world when the pope, presidents and pop stars descend on the city to ratify the sustainable development goals and celebrate the start of a new era.
Pope Francis begins his historic visit to Cuba and the United States this weekend, when he will address the US Congress and the United Nations. It is a chance to influence policymakers on issues that will shape the future of the planet. But there is another platform he should be invited to join.
The waters, indeed, are rough. Should there be some misstep in the U.S. trip, it would surely leave a long-lasting impression, perhaps even one that would color or change the pope’s nearly universally positive standing among the country’s 69 million Catholics.
Pope Francis is not a politician, but likes a good political dustup. And the Holy Father couldn't have packed his trip to the United States this month with more politically charged issues. [...] "People who think the world revolves around Washington politics don't realize that the Pope is a global leader," said Francis Rooney, who was U.S. ambassador to the Vatican for four years under President George W. Bush.
Pope Francis on Sunday decried the deaths of 71 migrants in an abandoned truck in Austria, calling it an offense against "the entire human family. We entrust each of them to the mercy of God," the pontiff said in Rome, calling on world leaders "to cooperate with effectiveness to prevent these crimes."
Americans are gung-ho for Pope Francis' U.S. visit — if they know he's coming. But most Americans (52 percent) and nearly a third of Catholics (31 percent) say they hadn't heard about the pope's September visit to Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., according to a new survey released Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service.
In a speech that started out as an apology for the crimes of the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America during the colonial era, Pope Francis went on to criticize capitalism as “new colonialism” on 9th July. [...] The Pope voiced these thoughts in Bolivia, where he was at the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements, after his appearance in Ecuador.