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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It was a packed house at Belen Jesuit as students and faculty watched Pope Francis address Congress, making history.

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Just the fact that he was there impressed the students.

“It was very clear that there were some issues you saw Biden clapping for, some you saw Boehner clapping for others, but at the same time he was not trying to be political,” said  student Daniel Brennan.

As the pontiff continued speaking, students appreciated that, popular or not, the pope brought up issues that many would not.

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“I was really surprised that he brought up the death penalty, directly he brought up abortion and the vicious cycle of poverty,” said student Alejandro Smith.

For another student, the pope is leading the way in a new form of thinking.

“Pope Francis has always been a trendsetter.  He’s starting to change the way popes do things, changing the way we look at things,” said student Christian Delgau.

Following the pontiff’s address to Congress, he made his way to St. Patrick’s Parish to meet and address the homeless of the city. Later in the day he  is set to leave Washington, D.C. and head to New York City.

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Click here for complete coverage of the pope’s visit.

Ted Scouten