The powerful prayer the pope offered at the border that left thousands speechless.

This is the sight that reduced 200,000 people to awed silence yesterday.

Photo by Yuri Cortez/Getty Images.


It was Pope Francis, laying a bouquet of flowers at a memorial near the Rio Grande, where thousands of migrants have died trying to cross into the United States — nearly 6,000 from 2000 to 2014.

Photo by Mark Ralston/Getty Images.

"No more death! No more exploitation!" the pope said, as hundreds of thousands looked on — on both sides of the border.

Photo by Yuri Cortez/Getty Images.

Of course, not everyone was happy. Earlier in the week, Donald Trump accused the pope of politicizing his visit to Mexico.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

He also suggested that Mexico was using the pope to try to maintain the status quo at the border because they ... make a lot of money off it? Somehow?

The Vatican (obviously) denied this.

Thing is, Trump was right — at least about one thing.

Praying at the border in Mexico was political, and Pope Francis knew exactly what he was doing.

Photo by Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images.

But not political in the way we typically mean "political" in the U.S.

Much as it makes us feel weirdly good about ourselves to presume everything is all about us all the time, this time, it's not. Most likely, Pope Francis couldn't care less about Republican versus Democrat.

The pope cares about people not being exploited and not dying.

Photo by Yuri Cortez/Getty Images.

"Each step, a journey laden with grave injustices: the enslaved, the imprisoned and extorted; so many of these brothers and sisters of ours are the consequence of trafficking in human beings," he said at the border.

At a separate mass on Wednesday, the pope declared, "The flow of capital cannot decide the flow of people." He decried "the exploitation of employees as if they were objects to be used and discarded."

It's a pretty simple message.

Photo by Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images.

The pope wants us to prioritize people over profit. He wants companies to stop taking advantage of immigrant workers with low wages. He wants gangs to stop killing and maiming, forcing thousands to flee their homes. He wants the drug trade to cease in its current, violent form, so that the gangs don't need to kill and maim in the first place.

And if all else fails, and greed and violence continue to uproot communities around the world, he wants people on all sides of every border to treat migrants with compassion and dignity.

Whether you're pro- or anti-immigration, we can all agree that treating people compassionately is important.

And we can all agree that, in a more just, more humane world, there'd be fewer bodies and lost lives to mourn. If that's because we learn to welcome them with open arms, great. If that's because we commit to lifting them out of poverty so that they don't need to flee their homes in the first place?

Even better.

Photo by Yuri Cortez/Getty Images.

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