At the White House, Pope Francis began his speech Wednesday morning by paying respect to immigrants.
“As the son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families,” he said.
The Pope reminded us to fight injustice, discrimination and to protect the vulnerable.
He delivered his remarks in English but also expect to hear him speak a lot of Spanish while here in the U.S.
Below please find my opinion column on the topic syndicated by the Progressive Media Project.
During Pope Francis’ travels in the United States, his public appearances will be a rebuke to the English-only crowd.
Most of his speeches and Masses will be in Spanish, and there is nothing wrong with the pope or anybody else speaking in another language in this country.
English is not the official language of the United States. However, there have always been politicians who’ve used English as a political issue.
In 1780, John Adams tried to establish an official academy devoted to English, but it was rejected at the time as “undemocratic.” Benjamin Franklin feared Germans would overrun the United States and said they were too “stupid” to learn English. But most of the framers of the Constitution saw an official language as a threat to civil liberties.
Many languages were spoken on this land before this nation was even founded. Spanish has been spoken in what is today the United States longer than English. The Spanish colonization of the New World, from Chesapeake Bay to South America, was well established before the English arrived.