US grassroots leaders lobby Vatican ahead of Pope visit

American community organisers and union leaders have met Vatican officials to help encourage Pope Francis address social issues when he visits the US.

They are hoping Pope Francis will discuss such issues when he meets President Barack Obama and addresses the US Congress in September.

The issues raised include immigration reform, economic injustice for low-wage workers, pervasive racism in US institutions and society, and mass incarceration.

One union leader said people in the United States are “as divided as we’ve ever been by race, by economics, by politics, by everything”.

Pope Francis is seen as a force for reconciliation and reform.

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