The days leading up to his speech at the U.N. have become a sort of Popemania in the Northeast corridor, with Washington, D.C., New York, and Philadelphia working themselves into a frenzy of street closures, train delays, and unauthorized Pope swag for sale on the sidewalks.
On Thursday, people lined up along the FDR highway in Manhattan in the hopes of catching even a glimpse of his Popemobile. Men, women, and children have camped out just to see him as he drives through Central Park from the Upper East Side to Madison Square Garden on Friday.
As leaders from the U.N.'s 193 member states listened, Pope Francis delivered a thoughtful, politically charged speech
that implored them to do more than just pass resolutions and treat the one billion people living in poverty as statistics. The pope urged environmental responsibility and outlined what we owe every human living on the planet: lodging, labor, land, and spiritual freedom.
His to-do list for world leaders wasn't so short. He urged countries to end human trafficking and the selling of human organs as well as sexual exploitation of boys and girls, including prostitution. He spoke out against the global drug and weapons trade, terrorism, international organized crime, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. The pope urged fellow heads of state in the room to do all they can to mitigate these pervasive global problems.