A Pope that swings both ways: Francis scores big with liberals and conservatives during his US trip

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PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania - I came, I saw, I conquered.  With his kind voice and Latino-style kisses, Pope Francis finished a very successful trip to the United States.  Why successful?  First, the crowds.  Masses here, masses there.  Second, his political savvy.  Both in Congress, at the White House and before the U.N., the pontifice was able to convey strong messages while at the same time navigating our political mine fields… and he's still alive.

On the one hand, Francis talked about climate change, advocated for immigrants and the poor, promoted interfaith dialogue and spoke against the death penalty… scoring points with liberals.  On the other hand, his positions on family, marriage and abortion remain unchanged, and that's why many conservatives still like him.  But the less judgmental tone he's using when addressing these controversial issues is what's fueling his celebrity power and making some traditional folks go nuts.

So, that was that: Francis is gone.   However, don't cry for this Argentinian Pope, amigo.  He might not speak English fluently, but he had a holy moly of a first visit to America.