Pope, after historic talk to Congress, arrives in New York

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Pope Francis Makes Historic Speech to Congress

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pope Francis plunged into the melting pot of New York after reminding the country of its immigrant origins in the first papal speech before Congress on Thursday. Over an intense 40 hours that started with an evening prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral, he will address world leaders at the United Nations, participate in an interfaith service at the Sept. 11 memorial museum at ground zero and celebrate Mass at Madison Square Garden.

Read more special coverage on the pope's visit: Will Pope Francis take the US to task during his visit?

The pope, who's making his first trip to the United States, also planned to visit a school on Friday and take a processional drive through Central Park.

The popular pontiff received a raucous welcome on his first visit to New York. Thousands of people lined the streets leading to St. Patrick's to greet him, cheering, waving flags and adoringly chanting his name as he gestured toward them from his popemobile. On the steps of the recently spruced up cathedral, dignitaries including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer welcomed him.

In Washington earlier Thursday, the pope had waded into bitter disputes while speaking to Congress, entreating the nation to share its immense wealth with those less fortunate. He urged Congress and the nation to abolish the death penalty, fight global warming and embrace immigrants. Lawmakers gave rousing ovations to the leader of the world's Catholics despite obvious disagreements over some of his pleas.

Click below to see pictures of ​Pope Francis in New York:

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Pope Francis in NYC, St. Patricks Cathedral
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Pope, after historic talk to Congress, arrives in New York
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis arrives for a multi-religious service at the site of the 9/11 memorial and Museum on September 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara - Pool/Getty Images)
Pope Francis prays at the edge of the South Pool at the World Trade Center in New York, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. Pope Francis is on a five-day trip to the United States. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, Pool)
Pope Francis places a white rose at the South Pool of the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Pope Francis visits the 9/11 Museum, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 in New York. (Susan Watts/New York Daily News via AP, Pool)
Pope Francis, second left, reads a passage during a multi-religious service at the 9/11 Museum, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on a two-day visit to New York which includes addressing the United Nations and holding mass at Madison Square Garden before heading to Philadelphia. (Monica Graff/Pool via AP)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Pope Francis speaks during a multi-religious prayer for peace at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on September 25, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis is in New York on a two day visit and will carry out a number of engagements including a Papal motorcade through Central Park and a Mass in Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Pope Francis addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Pope Francis arrives to address the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Pope Francis addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Pope Francis is seen on a video monitor as he signs the United Nations guest book before addressing the General Assembly, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Pope Francis is greeted in front of United Nations headquarters by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, Pool)
Pope Francis waves to gathered worshipers as he leaves St. Patrick's Cathedral after conducting an evening prayer service, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 in New York. (Anthony Behar/Sipa Press via AP, Pool)
Pope Francis prays at the altar of Saint Elizabeth before an evening prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, September 24, 2015. Pope Francis is on a five-day trip to the USA, which includes stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia, after a three-day stay in Cuba. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)_
Pope Francis, left, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan embrace during vespers at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. (Chad Rachman/New York Post via AP, Pool)
Pope Francis celebrates evening prayers at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York on September 24, 2015. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis waves to worshipers as he leaves St. Patrick's Cathedral after leading an evening prayer service, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Pope Francis speaks to the congregation at St. Patrick's Cathedral during a prayer service in New York, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. (Chad Rachman/New York Post via AP, Pool)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis greets people as he leaves St. Patrick's Cathedral September 24, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on his first trip to the United States, visiting Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Chad Rachman-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis speaks to the congregation at St. Patrick's Cathedral September 24, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on his first trip to the United States, visiting Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Chad Rachman-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis walks across the altar of St. Patrick's Cathedral September 24, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on his first trip to the United States, visiting Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Chad Rachman-Pool/Getty Images)
Jennifer Pascual, director of music at St. Patrick's Cathedral, directs the choir as Pope Francis celebrates vespers at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. (Chad Rachman/New York Post, Pool)
Pope Francis delivers his speech as he leads an evening prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis is assisted as he leads a service at St Patrick's Cathedral on September 24, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis is in New York on a two day visit and will carry out a number of engagements including a Papal motorcade through Central Park and a Mass in Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Parishioners wait for Pope Francis to arrive at Saint Patrick's Cathedral on September 24, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is scheduled to celebrate vespers, or evening prayers, and a shared a reflection after a procession down 5th Ave. (Photo by Robert Sabo-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis leads a service at St Patrick's Cathedral on September 24, 2015 in New York City. Pope Francis is in New York on a two day visit and will carry out a number of engagements including a Papal motorcade through Central Park and a Mass in Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Pope Francis leaves St. Patrick's Cathedral, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015 in New york after conducting an evening prayer service. (Robert Sabo/The New York Daily News vai AP, Pool)
Worshipers applaud as they watch Pope Francis enter St. Patrick's Cathedral on a television monitor, Thursday, September 24, 2015 in New York. Pope Francis is on a five-day trip to the USA, which includes stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia, after a three-day stay in Cuba. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, Pool)
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at St. Patrick's Cathedral to lead an evening prayer service, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Pope Francis waves as he approaches the St Patrick's Cathedral to lead evening prayers in New York on September 24, 2015. Pope Francis arrived in New York on the second leg of his US tour where he will address the UN General Assembly, visit the 9/11 Memorial and celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis waves as he approaches St Patrick's Cathedral to lead evening prayers in New York on September 24, 2015. Pope Francis arrived in New York on the second leg of his US tour where he will address the UN General Assembly, visit the 9/11 Memorial and celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis makes his way down 5th Avenue in New York City on his way to St. Patrick's in New York City September 24, 2015 . The Pope will hold a prayer service at St. Patricks Cathedral . AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis acknowledges well-wishers outside St. Patrick's Cathedral as New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo (L) and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (C) look on September 24, 2015 in New York City. The pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Damon Winter-Pool/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Crowds cheer as Pope Francis drives down 5th Avenue while on his way to St. Patrick's Cathedral on September 24, 2015 in New York City. The Pope will offer evening prayers tonight at St. Patrick's Cathedral. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Pope Francis waves as he approaches St. Patrick's Cathedral to lead evening prayers in New York on September 24, 2015. Pope Francis arrived in New York on the second leg of his US tour where he will address the UN General Assembly, visit the 9/11 Memorial and celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Spectators watch from the corner of 51st Street and Fifth Avenue trying to get a glimpse of Pope Francis as he enters St. Patrick's Cathedral September 24, 2015 in New York City. The pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Aristide Economopoulos-Pool/Getty Images)
Pope Francis gestures as he approaches the St Patrick's Cathedral to lead evening prayers in New York on September 24, 2015. Pope Francis arrived in New York on the second leg of his US tour where he will address the UN General Assembly, visit the 9/11 Memorial and celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis gets off his mobile as he arrives at St. Patrick's Cathedral to lead evening prayers in New York on September 24, 2015. Pope Francis arrived in New York on the second leg of his US tour where he will address the UN General Assembly, visit the 9/11 Memorial and celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis arrives at the St Patrick's Cathedral to lead evening prayers in New York on September 24, 2015. Pope Francis arrived in New York on the second leg of his US tour where he will address the UN General Assembly, visit the 9/11 Memorial and celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis reaches out to 5th grader Omodele Ojo, of the Brooklyn borough of New York, as he is greeted while arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool)
Pope Francis engages well-wishers including Gerard Gubatan, of the Brooklyn borough of New York, center left, after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool)
Pope Francis engages well-wishers after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool)
Pope Francis kisses Maria Teresa Heyer, a 1st grade student from the Brooklyn borough of New York, as the pope is greeted by Heyer and other students who gave him gifts as he arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, Pool)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis is given a gift during his arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport September 24, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on his first trip to the United States, visiting Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Craig Ruttle-Pool/Getty Images)
Pope Francis makes his way down 5th Avenue in New York City on his way to St. Patricks in New York City September 24, 2015 . The Pope will hold a prayer service at St. Patricks Cathedral . AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio (R) and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton (L) wait outside St. Patrick's Cathedral for the arrival of Pope Francis September 24, 2015 in New York City. Maryland.The pope is on a six-day visit to the U.S., with stops in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia. (Photo by Damon Winter-Pool/Getty Images)
Pope Francis boards a waiting helicopter after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. The pope is on a five-day trip to the USA, which includes stops in Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia, after a three-day stay in Cuba. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis arrives at John F. Kennedy International Airport September 24, 2015 in New York City. The Pope is on his first trip to the United States, visiting Washington, DC, New York and Philadelphia. (Photo by Craig Ruttle-Pool/Getty Images)
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After he addressed Congress, the first pontiff to do so, he underscored his message by traveling to a downtown Washington church, where he mingled with needy and homeless people, blessed their noontime meal and walked among them while they ate.

Soon after, he headed by plane to New York, second stop on his three-city first visit to the U.S. He addresses the U.N. on Friday and wraps up his visit this weekend in Philadelphia, where he speaks in front of Independence Hall and celebrates Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

At the Capitol, the remarkable sight of the pope speaking in the House chamber seemed to delight lawmakers of all persuasions, though he offered an agenda more to Democrats' liking. Besides his focus on climate change and immigration, he denounced arms sales and seemed to allude approvingly to the Iran nuclear deal and recent actions by President Barack Obama's administration to open relations with Cuba, done with his urging.

Follow the pope's itinerary during his trip to the US: Pope Francis' schedule for his US visit

Republicans, too, heard something to like in his references to the sanctity of life and family relations, reminders that even the more open Catholic Church over which Francis presides still condemns abortion and gay marriage.

For all the spectacle, it seemed unlikely the pope's visit would break congressional inertia on the issues dear to him, with no action in sight from the Republican majority on global warming or immigration.

But Francis, in his historic speech, seemed determined to remind the United States of its foundations as a country made up of foreigners, addressing the chamber and the American people beyond in personal terms as a son of immigrants to "this great continent."

"We must resolve now to live as nobly and as justly as possible as we educate new generations not to turn their back on our neighbors and everything around us," he said. "We must not be taken aback by their numbers but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation."

After the address, Francis appeared high on a Capitol balcony and addressed a cheering crowd of thousands below on the lawn and the Mall beyond who had watched his speech on giant TV screens.

"Buenos dias," he called out in the language of his native Argentina and millions of U.S. immigrants, legal and not.

The crowd thundered its response.

Francis asked the crowd to pray for him, as he always does. But speaking in Spanish, he added a line to acknowledge that not everyone there was a believer.

"If among you there are some who don't believe or who cannot pray, I ask that you send good wishes my way," he said, to tumultuous applause.

"God bless America!" he concluded, as he had in the House chamber.

After leaving the Capitol, the pope brought encouragement to a much smaller group: a gathering of homeless and needy people at St. Patrick's Church and Catholic Charities in Washington. He decried a lack of housing for the poor and declared there is "no justification whatsoever" for homelessness.

The pope's jam-packed tour began last weekend in Cuba and included a White House ceremony and Washington parade in his popemobile on Wednesday. On Friday, at the United Nations, the pope is sure to make many of the points emphasized in Washington - a need for openness to immigrants and for the world to share its riches with the needy.

At the Capitol in Washington, the packed House chamber included Supreme Court justices, Cabinet officials and lawmakers of both major political parties, some of whom bowed their heads in deference as Francis walked down the center aisle to approach the dais where presidents deliver their State of the Union speeches.

"Mr. Speaker, the pope of the Holy See," bellowed the sergeant at arms.

Behind the pope sat Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and Republican House Speaker John Boehner, the first and second in line to the presidency, both Catholics.

Francis, in deliberate and accented English, noted that many lawmakers descended from immigrants and the U.S. was founded by foreigners "who came to this land to pursue their dream of building a future in freedom."

"Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated," he said. "Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves."

His appeal comes amid the worst refugee crisis since World War II: Europe has been overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war in Syria and Iraq, and there are widespread conflicts and poverty in Africa. In the U.S., tens of thousands of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America have surged across the southern U.S. border as violence has flared at home.

For now, Congress has deadlocked on immigration legislation, and the chances for progress have only grown more remote amid the hardline rhetoric of the U.S. presidential campaign. Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who watched the pope's New York motorcade from the Trump Tower balcony, has painted Mexican immigrants as criminals and has said he would build a wall along the border and force Mexico to pay for it.

Francis has called for a more welcoming attitude toward migrants across the board and has backed that up with a modest welcome of his own: The Vatican recently took in two refugee families and has committed to care for them while they await their asylum applications.

On another contentious subject, he advocated abolition of the death penalty in the U.S., something that enjoys support from a number of lawmakers of both parties at the federal level. He spoke out against fundamentalism of all kinds while urging care in combating it.

In calling for action on the climate and to combat poverty, he took care to insist he was not anti-business, as some conservatives have suggested. He quoted a Catholic teaching document that calls business "a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world."

At the Capitol, his mention of climate change drew standing cheers from Democrats while Republicans stood to applaud the reference to opposing abortion. Republicans in particular also loudly applauded as Francis asserted the importance of family life and bemoaned that "fundamental relationships are being called into question as is the very basis of marriage and the family." The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage, recently legalized by the Supreme Court.

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Werner reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, Matthew Daly, Alan Fram, Stephen Ohlemacher, Andrew Taylor, Mary Clare Jalonick, Ben Nuckols, Jessica Gresko and Jennifer Peltz contributed.

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