At least one Republican congressman was displeased with Pope Francis's speech to Congress — not for what was in it, but for what was absent.
Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Pitts is among the House's most staunch and active social conservatives, having fought particularly hard to end abortion and prevent same-sex couples from marrying. So even though he knew Pope Francis would please liberals with parts of his address to a joint meeting of Congress Thursday, Pitts said he expected a little more from the pontiff on cultural issues that animate American conservatives.
"I was disappointed that he didn't use his forum to speak on behalf of the unborn and on marriage," Pitts said, acknowledging that the pope did make "very veiled" references to those issues.
Francis did say that "fundamental relationships are being called into question, as is the very basis of marriage and family," and that there is a "responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development." But Pitts had hoped the pope would emphasize them more while speaking to lawmakers.