From the September 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE: Pope Francis set to arrive in Washington, D.C., today, but his historic visit to the United States already overshadowed by controversy on both the left and the right. Do his critics have a point or should they just keep quiet or are they just simply not understanding this Pope? Jim Nicholson was the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See from 2001 to 2005 and has met Pope Francis. Ambassador, does this pope understand America?
JIM NICHOLSON: I think there are a lot of things about America that he can still learn. I mean, it's a big day for us here in the United States and a big day for the Pope because he's 78 years old, he's the head of state, he's the head of the Catholic Church, and this will be the first time that he's ever put a foot down in our country. This country, which is, you know, the greatest experiment in self-governance and free markets that's ever existed in the world, and so I think that there are a lot of things that hopefully the Holy Father can and will learn while he's here for a short time.
KILMEADE: Well he's obviously an extraordinary man, he's sacrificed extraordinary things to get to the place he is. However, we know that in reading his book, he talks about the horror of capitalism. He's anti-trickle down economics. He supports the Iranian deal and pushed for better relations with Cuba, while he's pro-global warming and wants us to do more. Essentially he's talking about the greed of America, but does he understand what the capital of America has done for charitable causes?
NICHOLSON: He must see the generosity of the Americans in the Vatican. American Catholics are the biggest supporter of the universal church in the world. So there is some enlightenment that the Holy Father needs, and he said, you know, on his trip back from South America a few weeks ago that he realizes that there's some things that he needs to learn and that he's going to be open-minded and welcome a dialog, and so I hope we have that dialogue with him. Because I really sincerely think, while he's such a dedicated, compassionate, humble man, that there are some things that, as a head of state, that he should learn about our country. Hopefully, he will.
KILMEADE: Well we'll see. He's gonna visit Catholic Charities, which is great because they give $31 billion out. But does he also understand that $39 billion of private charities from American coffers actually go out to more causes? Does he understand that $108 billion of private capital funds from those horrible capitalist companies go out to charitable global causes around the country that he holds dear?
NICHOLSON: Well, there's another thing that I hope he realizes, and that is that the best way to help the poor in this world is to help them come out of that poverty and get electricity. There are over a billion people in the world that still do not even have electricity, and fossil fuel is the hope for that electricity. It's cheap, it's readily produceable, and if you can't refrigerate medicine and you can't read in the dark, and you can't grow out of that poverty and there's a real link there, and the Holy Father, I think, needs to be very careful about this green movement that he's sort of seems to align himself with in this encyclical on global climate change, and I hope that he will realize that.
KILMEADE: Right, Ambassador. You and me both.