Did Pope Francis Make John Boehner Resign?

We know that Pope Francis made House Majority Leader John Boehner cry with his address to Congress yesterday, but now the question is, did it cause him to resign as well?

In what would be remarkable coincidence, Boehner’s unexpected resignation comes just one day after Francis exhorted Congress to put aside partisan differences for the good of the nation. Francis reminded lawmakers, “Your own responsibility as members of Congress is to enable this country, by your legislative activity, to grow as a nation. …You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics.”

Boehner found himself at the helm of an ungovernable Republican caucus that was pressuring him to take up their unwinnable quest to defund Planned Parenthood or shut down the government trying. According to the Washington Post, Boehner met with members of the “Freedom Caucus” following the pope’s address to Congress and found them as recalcitrant as ever. He made his announcement this morning “by talking about it as part of a ‘healing process,’ closing by praying the prayer of St. Francis.”

“Obviously the pope had a big impact on him,” Rep. Richard Nugent told the Post.

The Freedom Caucus has abandoned plans for a government shut-down in the wake of Boehner’s resignation, perhaps a miracle that can be attributed to Pope Francis.

  • Jon Altman

    I suspect that Boehner had decided to resign some time ago and waited until after the Pope’s address to announce the decision. It was VERY important to Boehner that the Pope deliver that address.

  • Jim Reed

    That is a crazy idea. I can’t imagine a Roman Catholic Republican politician listening to a pope who says something non-Republican.

  • Keith A. Jenkins

    Though he will never admit it, Boehner must know that his leadership has been a disaster and that he has lost control of his party, which seems intent on destroying our democracy. I can’t even imagine the stress he has been under. I think it’s quite possible that Pope Francis’ address to Congress was either the last straw or a genuine epiphany. I am willing to give Boehner the benefit of the doubt that what we saw on his face during the address and in this morning’s announcement was a genuine crisis of conscience and deep regret, even repentance.

  • nightgaunt

    Boehner is the older style Republican who could do little with the aggressive hard cases that were running it. Like herding cats with an idea to ignore most of what he would say.

  • nightgaunt

    Most of the hardliners are not Catholic, much less as “liberal” as Boehner is. (In relation to his own party that is not to Liberal Catholics who disagree with the Pope and the Church.)

    So no. No reason for them to either.

  • SDK

    I feel bad for the guy. It’s good to know that some politicians actually have a heart and perhaps even a conscience and not just an ego. It also confirms what all of us know — the Republican Party is currently very much on the wrong side of history. That makes me happy but I can’t really sing because I’d rather deal with sane Republicans than completely crazy ones.