Viewpoints on The Pope’s Speech

Posted on December 11, 2015 by


(Above the Pope delivers his speech to Congress)


My final project will cover the Pope’s speech in Congress this past September. I will be analyzing the way in which different news articles cover and portray his speech. The focus of news articles on one topic can be amazingly diverse and the authors of news articles know just how to shape their writing to truly impact the views of the individual reader as well as society as a whole. In this age there are so many different news sources that it can make you dizzy just trying to decide which article to read. Do you choose the one that has the best title? Maybe the one with the best picture? The background of the webpage even influences our decision of whether or not to continue to read! So why do we sometime think that a news source must not be biased? Sadly that can never be the result and that is why I will be covering the way the following news sources depict the Pope’s speech. In what will follow I will present to you the way in which the articles present the topic, why they present it in this way, and how it affects the reader.



Now I will discuss what I found to be the viewpoints and the way in which the following ten articles presented their information on the Pope’s speech. First will be Fox, a news source many would consider to be conservative. This article by Fox would not disappoint those who would make this assumption. It does not ram conservative views down your throat but it does focus on parts of the Pope’s speech that align with conservative beliefs. Another extremely popular news source is CNN. CNN gave a political coverage of the speech and put great focus on illegal immigration. The Pope was sympathetic to illegal immigrants in his speech and I believe so was the author of CNN’s article. While CNN took a political approach, Huffington Post took a more humanitarian look by focusing on relief efforts for refugees and other general humanitarian aspects in the Pope’s speech. It is tough to find articles that share in our own beliefs but for Catholics it is not too difficult as there is Catholic News. As one would expect the Catholic News article’s attention was on the religious aspects in the Pope’s speech and the article gave a great deal of support to the Pope which is not surprising. If someone was looking for an article on the speech that focused primarily on the social aspect then this article by CBS would be the one. CBS’s article treated the situation as a social event which seemed a great deal different than the other articles thus far. Perhaps this was an attempt to grab readers’ attention and business by being different. The first negative article of the batch came from USA Today. In the article the Pope’s speech is taken as a little disappointing because for being a religious leader there was not much mention of God or other religious topics. The way that the New York Times presents the Pope’s speech you would not think there was a problem with it. The article is very descriptive and puts great emotion into the narrative, really drawing the reader in. Now back to a political view with the Seattle Times. The Seattle Times did their best to show what conservatives liked in the Pope’s speech as well as what the liberals liked in the speech. Leaving the focus primarily in the political region. A different view point was of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. They focused on how the Pope presented the speech and the way in which he kept his sentences somewhat vague so that he would not stir up trouble by simply stating that he was against a topic or belief. National Public Radio, NPR, is the last article of the ten and it gave a critical outlook on the speech. NPR went through great lengths to bring the attention of the reader to a line in the Pope’s speech that he did not deliver in Congress. The article seemed disapproving of omitting part of the speech. With all these different viewpoints it is difficult to know what to think. What we should ask is why are these viewpoints used?


Reasons for Viewpoints:

Each of the ten articles covered above has a purpose in the viewpoint used. First off is all the articles that put a political view of the speech which were Fox, CNN, and Seattle Times. A political view was used by Fox and CNN to get the reader thinking of the speech as the sources did. On the other hand the Seattle Times used a political viewpoint more to inform than to persuade like the other two did. Next, why did Huffington Post use a humanitarian outlook? This viewpoint was used both as a call for aid and a way in which to put a good light on the source. Then Catholic News used a religious viewpoint because that is what they believe but it was also used so that Catholics could have a source that was pure and holy in their eyes. A different goal was in mind when CBS talked about the social aspects of the speech. The goal was to be different and to really gain the attention of readers and to stand out. USA Today was trying to get more business by having a negative view of the speech so that it would stir up controversy and gain more attention. Next the New York Times and their emotional viewpoint. The emotional viewpoint was used to keep the reader interested and to make them feel more of connection to the New York Times. Then the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette gave an article that focused on the presentation because the source was genuinely interested and impressed by the Pope’s presentation. The last article by National Public Radio had critical viewpoint because this view created conflict and discussion so that NPR would gain more business. All in all every article has a reason for the way in which information is presented or covered.



Looking at all the articles covered it is clear that there is always a purpose. The purpose may be good or it may not but the presentation by new sources is clearly both influential and therefore powerful. Our news sources can shape the views of their readers and create the way in which we view the world. Do we see it through a political lens? A religious lens? Or maybe a lens of our very own making. In light of this we must always take care to keep our lens clear and make sure that it is truly our lens and not someone else’s lens. Regardless of the lens we use, our news sources will always try and put their own lens over ours and try to alter the way we see the world.


Works Cited:

Baker, Peter, and Jim Yardley. “Pope Francis, in Congress, Pleads for Unity on World’s Woes.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Collinson, Stephen, and Daniel Burke. “Pope Francis Preaches Compassion to Divided Congress –” CNN. Cable News Network, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Miller, Jake. “Pope Francis Arrives at U.S. Capitol to Speak to Congress.” CBSNews. CBS Interactive, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Overby, Peter. “The 1 Line Pope Francis Left Out Of His Speech.” NPR. NPR, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Pergram, Chad. “Pope Francis Delivers Message of ‘hope and Healing’ in Address to Congress | Fox News.” Fox News. FOX News Network, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Sheppard, Kate, and Mollie Reilly. “Pope’s Message to Congress: Have Compassion For The Most Vulnerable Among Us.” Huffpost Politics. Huffinton Post, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Singer, Paul. “In Speech to Congress, Pope Francis Urges Action on Immigration, Climate.” USA Today News. USA Today, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Smith, Peter. “Analysis: Why Pope Francis’ Speech to Congress Was Even More Remarkable than Anticipated.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Winfield, Nicole, and Erica Werner. “Pope Makes Appeals to Congress, Tells US Nuns ‘I Love You’.” The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.


Wooden, Cindy. “Pope to Congress: Stop Bickering, World Needs Your Help.” Pope to Congress: Stop Bickering, World Needs Your Help. Catholic News Service, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

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