When addressing the assembled bishops of the United States during his historic first visit to our country, Pope Francis expressed that life and the family were the reasons for his visit. However, rather than focusing on the positive reasons for his visit, there was controversy surrounding those who would be in attendance for the pope’s White House speech. President Obama’s inclusion of LGBT and pro-health care guests should not be looked upon as a tactless and calculated ploy to make the pope uncomfortable, as some conservatives have concluded. Instead, we should all recognize the positive impact that the company of these guests can have on promoting Pope Francis’ message of the importance of being less judgmental and more merciful.

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