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Pope reminds us of our obligation to our fellow man

Last Thursday, Pope Francis addressed a joint meeting of Congress. It was a great honor to receive Pope Francis on his first trip to the United States.

He is the first pope to ever address Congress, and I am grateful for his message of hope and compassion. 

This message was not only for Congress, but also for our country and the world. He reminded us of our obligation to help those who are in need, treat our fellow man with respect and dignity, and do our best to pass on the great blessings we have received to future generations.

The Pope spoke to the virtue to the family and the sanctity of every human being, challenging us to value each and every life.

I had the great privilege of inviting many Fifth District Virginians to this historic event, and I thank all of those who joined us for the Pope’s visit. Among the attendees was Madeline Key of Pittsylvania County, who came along with her priest from Saint Victoria Catholic Church, Father Jim Gallagher. A devout parishioner for most of her 87 years, this was Ms. Key’s first time seeing a pope in person, making it a truly special occasion.

We have so many blessings as Americans, and it is our responsibility to protect students chances for a brighter future, just as previous generations did for us.

It is my hope that Pope Francis’ address will continue remind us of the fundamental reasons that we serve — to help others, and to do so with respect and compassion for those around us.

I hope as a Congress we hold the blessing of his visit in the spirit it was intended — close to our hearts.

I will certainly keep his message in mind as I continue to serve the good people of Virginia’s Fifth District.

Robert Hurt represents Charlotte County in the U.S. House of Representatives. His website is hurt.house.gov. He can be reached at his Farmville office at (434) 395-0120.