"When we speak of the human person, we cannot avoid speaking about the family. There is no human person without the family. If you separate the family, you destroy the person," he said, responding to a reference made by moderator John Carr about the separation of immigrant families through deportation.
True evangelization, however, must begin with receiving the Sacrament of Confession, the nuncio insisted.
The Pope has emphasized that "the people need to be reached in their misery," and "in their brokenness, in their sinfulness so that they may be evangelized," he said, adding that "evangelization is forgiveness."
This was part of the impetus behind the Holy Father's proclamation of a Jubilee Year of Mercy from December 2015 to November 2016, Archbishop Pierre continued.
People have been warning of a "huge crisis of the Sacrament of Reconciliation" in recent decades, he said, yet "suddenly, it seems that a lot of people are rediscovering" it, "which is absolutely necessary" for discipleship.
One of the challenges to evangelization is "polarization" in the world, noted Daniels, and Catholics must look to establish true unity with each other in order to evangelize today, she added.
"Our first step should be realizing that we can't sow this kind of division," she said. Catholics should "focus on the things we share, and that's serving the voiceless and vulnerable, it's resisting the throwaway culture, it's respecting the family and the good that it does in society."
"And that's when we start looking at what we share, looking at what makes us distinctive as Catholics – the sacraments, our parish life, our life in community – and drawing on those resources to build unity," she continued.
Archbishop Pierre suggested that one model for evangelization is Fr. Jacques Hamel, a French priest executed by ISIS terrorists last July at his morning Mass at a Normandy parish.
"It touched me, because he's a priest, he's the type of priest I've known," said the nuncio, who is originally from France.
"He's a man who's a victim of the time, but also he's a martyr," he continued. "I come from Mexico, I have seen the church of martyrs through these years of persecution. It's the making of the Church." Archbishop Pierre was formerly the papal nuncio to Mexico before his move to the U.S. in 2016.
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In October, Pope Francis approved the opening of Fr. Hamel's cause for beatification by the diocese of Rouen, France.
Fr. Hamel "gave his life" under ordinary circumstances, at a daily Mass amidst a small congregation, the nuncio said. He was faithful to his calling.
"I see that person as really the sign of God for today," he said. "And his death had a huge impact on the whole society."