Pope on Trump: Anyone Who Wants Border Walls Isn’t Christian

Nicole Winfield, AP, February 18, 2016

Pope Francis said Thursday that Donald Trump is “not Christian” if he wants to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. Trump immediately fired back, saying it is disgraceful for a religious leader to question a person’s faith.

The rare back-and-forth between pontiff and presidential candidate was the latest astonishing development in a U.S. presidential race that has been roiled by Trump’s freewheeling rhetoric and controversial policy proposals, particularly on immigration.

{snip} The Pope’s comments en route home from Mexico came hours after he prayed at the Mexican border for people who died trying to reach the United States.

Asked what he thought of Trump’s pledge [to build a wall], Francis said: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the gospel.”

Not having heard about Trump’s border plans independently, Francis said he’d “give the benefit of the doubt.” But he added: “I say only that this man is not Christian if he has said things like that.”

Trump, a Presbyterian, shot back within minutes.

{snip}

Trump has been critical of the pope’s visit to Mexico. He said last week that Francis’ plans to pray at the border showed he is a political figure being exploited by the Mexican government.

Asked Thursday if he felt he was being used as a pawn of Mexico, Francis said he didn’t know.

“I’ll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people,” he said.

{snip}

[Editor’s Note: Below is Trump’s full statement.]

If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.

The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story – he didn’t see the crime, the drug trafficking and the negative economic impact the current policies have on the United States. He doesn’t see how Mexican leadership is outsmarting President Obama and our leadership in every aspect of negotiation.

For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.