It is a sign of our hyper-polarized times that, even before Pope Francis lands in America, his visit is stirring controversy and conflict. The chance that he will repeat his attacks on capitalism and denounce fossil fuels in a speech to Congress threatens to make his trip divisive.
One member of the House, a Republican Catholic, even says he will boycott the speech if it’s going to focus on climate change. Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona wrote in an op-ed that if Francis is going to “act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one.”
Yet there is at least one stop on the pontiff’s itinerary that should be unifying to all Americans. It is to Our Lady Queen of Angels, a Catholic elementary and middle school in East Harlem, the only school on the pope’s US schedule.
Plans for Friday’s visit call for him to be greeted by 250 children outside the East 112th Street building and to meet 24 fourth-grade students and their principals inside. They include six students from each of the four local archdiocese schools who have been working on gifts and projects to show the pope.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.