Pope Francis delivered the first papal address to Congress Thursday in a speech that touched on many issues, including immigration, abortion and climate change.

Here are reactions from Tennessee lawmakers.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, Republican:


Pope Francis lives his life in a way that provides an extraordinary example of serving others. It has been an honor to help host his visit and to hear him.

Sen. Bob Corker, Republican:

It was an honor to welcome His Holiness Pope Francis to our nation’s capital today and hear his historic address to Congress.

His address was one of hope and unity, and I was particularly pleased to hear his message about the fight to eliminate modern slavery. As Pope Francis conveyed, ending modern slavery will not come easy. It will require cooperation from people of all faiths, backgrounds and nationality. But together, we can end it. I remain committed to efforts to fighting slavery and human trafficking, which is a heartbreaking reality for the more than 27 million people enslaved today in more than 167 countries, including our own.

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, 3rd District Republican:

Today was truly a historic moment. It was an honor to be on the House floor during the first time a pope has ever addressed a joint session of Congress. Pope Francis has a tremendous message of peace, family and the sanctity of life. I most appreciated his closing words, “God bless America.”

Rep. Phil Roe, 1st District Republican:

It was truly an honor to be present for Pope Francis’ address to Congress this morning. This was the first time in American history the pope has addressed a joint meeting of Congress, and I thought Pope Francis gave a moving and thought-provoking speech. No matter your faith, the pope is a very important figure around the world, and I’m glad he took time out of his busy schedule to speak to us during his visit to the United States.

Rep. Steve Cohen, 9th District Democrat:

Pope Francis is an inspiring and uniting figure whose work has helped countless people around the world.

I was pleased to provide these Memphians with the chance to see His Holiness in person as he became the first pope in history to address the U.S. Congress. I hope everyone enjoyed the opportunity to be part of this historic day in our nation’s history.