Trump and the Pope

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It was only a matter of time.

This morning the Holy Father responded to a question about Donald Trump during a press conference on board his flight home from Mexico. The Pope reportedly 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 surprisingly, Trump fired back. He immediately released a statement calling the Pope’s comments disgraceful, criticized him for questioning his faith, and suggested the Holy Father was acting as a pawn for Mexico.

Oh brother.

So what should a faithful Catholic think about all this?

At times like this, it’s helpful to return to the Catechism. Here again is what the Church teaches on immigration:

2241 “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.”

The Pope is a pastor, not a presidential candidate. The Pope has rightly called on nations and leaders to focus on the human dignity of the immigrant. But Catholic teaching also emphasizes the obligations of civil leaders and of those migrating. Both have rights and duties that must be respected.

We can’t help but conclude that the exchange between the Holy Father and Trump is regrettable. We wish it didn’t happen, and fault the media for setting up the controversy. Trump will now use the comments to further inflame the debate — in a country with a long history of prejudice against Catholicism and the papacy. Meanwhile, Catholics who want a secure border and enforcement of our laws will be told the Pope is against them.  

The immigration debate needs more clarity and light, not more heat. And the papacy deserves more respect than the flippant comments from Trump.  

CV is committed to an immigration solution that secures our borders, protects our national security, and is welcoming of legal immigration.  We can welcome the stranger, secure the border, and demand that our laws be respected at the same time.

Anyone who tells you such a solution is impossible is wrong.  

We need a President capable of bridging the divide.  Let’s hope we elect one in November.
For those interested, other candidates have responded in the last hour:

Here is Marco Rubio responding: http://dailycaller.com/2016/02/18/rubio-to-the-pope-no-nation-more-compassionate-on-immigration-than-us-video/

Here is a story containing comments from Jeb Bush: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/rubio-responds-to-the-pope-theres-no-nation-that-is-more-compassionate-on/2265911

When asked by reporters about the controversy, Ted Cruz replied: “Listen, that’s between Donald and the Pope. I’m not gonna get in the middle of that.”

As of writing, there were no published reports from Ben Carson or John Kasich. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for the latest.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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CatholicVote.org is a lay-led movement of committed Catholics who are passionate about living out the truths proclaimed by Christ and His Church in the modern world. We are joined in this mission by many individuals of other faith traditions (and no faith tradition) because the common good we seek is universal to all men and women of goodwill. As patriotic Americans, we believe that life, faith, and freedom are precious rights, and that the family is the foundational unit of society.

74 Comments

  1. Catholic Pastor on

    Someone needs to tell Pope Francis to be silent. What does he do when he speaks? He attacks faithful Catholics all the time, he attacks people who love the Catholic Liturgy, he attacks prolifers, he honors homosexualist bishops, he loves atheists, he inserts himself directly into local politics, and on and on.

    He should keep quiet.

    Abortionist Hillary Clinton is delighted with Pope Francis’ imprudent remarks.

      • if the Pope is so concerned about building border walls against illegal immigrants, he should open the Vatican doors and let the immigrants in and see firsthand what it takes to show his love and compassion.
        He should walk the walk and not just talk the talk……

    • You are way off base here. The Pope has been consistent that we should protect the marginalized in society, from the poor to the unborn, and the immigrant to the criminal on death row. His comments are completely in line with his pro life stance. He should not keep quiet. He has a duty to preach the Gospel, which is what he is doing.

          • Nope.

            He shouldn’t personally call out out people running for elected office.

            Once done, now the office is co=opted for political campaigning.

            Also, people with anti-Catholic animus (plenty of those around) have been thrown red meat,

        • The Pope is not only a religious leader. He is a political figure like president Obama because he is like the president the head of State for Vatican City. He has a role in world politics like any head of state.

          • Even Obama doesn’t make public statements concerning the religious beliefs of candidates fro public office in foreign states.

    • I disagree when it comes down to the very fabric of the church.

      Cardinal Pell of Australia recently said he “should have done more” regarding the tortuous rapes of many lay people by his priests. WHERE was Francis? Conspicuously aloof, only saying he supports Pell. Instead Francis must be proactive on issues as important as the long standing pedophilia scandal that isn’t going away anytime soon. When a long standing, gender constricted theocracy begins to fall few in charge can stop it. I have always contended that manmade rules are subject to change. My maternal grandparents came from Ireland where the church has “enjoyed religious freedom” for centuries. On the contrary, the Irish people did not “enjoy” freedom from religion. What must change to make the church better?

      Manmade rules that need to be tossed, celibacy, restrictions on married priests, women clerics, indulgences. The Pope MUST litigate all criminal Bishops in the municipal courts of the land… NO Cannon lawyers.

  2. There are many issues with those coming into our country through the back door. These rightly include national security and economic issues. But I think the biggest issue with most Americans with the undocumented immigrants is NOT either of those. It is the failure of the vast majority to assimilate. The Cathilic view is that they too have responsibilities: ” Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.” Unfortunately, many of these immigrants believe we have a DUTY to learn to speak Spanish as opposed to them learning the language of this country, which historically has been English. When Americans are unable to get a job in their own country because they do not speak the language of the immigrants, the Americans become angry. When you have priests inform their church members that unless they learn Spanish, they can no longer be considered Catholic, we have a huge issue. (mine did, name will be provided privately if you want it). A guest does not walk into someones house and demand that they immediately remodel the home to be more like the guest home. Immigrants should not come to our country and demand we change our ways to suit them. I left California because I was unemployable due to my lack of Spanish. There were some jobs where English was optional but Spanish required. When we are forced from our homes and employment because of the demands, we become angry. So yes, we need to stop the flow, and welcome with open arms those not out to hurt us and those willing to conform to our culture without making the demands we conform to the culture of their old country.

    • This is EXACTLY the argument that was made with Italian immigrants at the end of the 19th century. Xenophobia at its finest.

      • SM2504, as someone with two Italian great grandparents who *LEGALLY* came to this country, I take offense at your comments. Here is the difference: Italians and others of that era came through Ellis Island. They went through the legal procedures. They were checked as best as a non-big-data era allowed, examined for known diseases, had passports (which I have physically seen and examined despite not living in the same lifetime as these two), followed all the laws, etc. Did they preserve their culture, their religious faith (Catholicism which ultimately was passed down to me even having three Protestant grandparents), speak Italian, etc.? Absolutely. Did they also speak English, adopt the culture of the area where they lived, obtain gainful employment, etc.? Yes. Would they have accepted welfare if such was available at the time? Absolutely not! In fact, they’d have been offended at the prospect, as would their children and grandchildren!

        This is really the difference. The people streaming in today are not going through today’s equivalent of Ellis Island. They are just coming in here, enabled by a president who on one hand is persecuting the Little Sisters of the Poor for not violating their faith yet on the other hand blatantly refuses to enforce the laws that he personally dislikes. They are getting welfare. While citizens must pay a penalty if they cannot afford ObamaCare, illegals can go to the emergency room when they have a common cold and get free treatment. Meanwhile, Obama lectures citizens about a “shared responsibility” in terms of buying ObamaCare with horrendously high deductibles (or paying a fine) — to pay for people who are breaking our laws UNLIKE the Italians and others of the late 19th century who went through Ellis Island.

        As a descendant of LEGAL Italian immigrants from Ellis Island, I am greatly offended by your comment.

  3. We can’t help but conclude that the exchange between the Holy Father and Trump is regrettable. We wish it didn’t happen, and fault the media for setting up the controversy.”

    The Pope was neither under duress nor obligation to respond to the question about Trump. He did anyway. This one’s on the Pope. Should have kept quiet.

    “Trump will now use the comments to further inflame the debate — in a country with a long history of prejudice against Catholicism and the papacy. Meanwhile, Catholics who want a secure border and enforcement of our laws will be told the Pope is against them.”

    Yep. True there. Now, the Pope has sown division among American Catholics and incited latent anti-Catholic prejudices.

    “The immigration debate needs more clarity and light, not more heat. And the papacy deserves more respect than the flippant comments from Trump.”

    Actually, the papacy deserves more respect that having the Pontiff weigh in with flippant comments. I hold the Pope to a higher standard than someone as venal as a politician in the middle of an election campaign.. Wrong of me, apparently.

    • This response is exactly what I have been thinking today. The Pope did not respond to the media, he made his statement based on his trip to Mexico fueled by an anti capitalist agenda.

    • Ram, good point. Further, consider statements from the prior two popes about something far more serious: the Iraq War. Both said they personally (as individuals) opposed the war but recognized that Catholics may have different views as to whether this was a just war or not. Pope St. John Paul II also said something along the lines that in terms of pro-life (relating to abortion, euthanasia, etc.) Catholics were obliged to agree with these points as a matter of faith. But comments on wars and other political concerns of less weighty subjects than the right to human life were up to the the individual to form their own viewpoint. THIS pope, on the other hand, has not made such a clarification. Rather, he has passed judgement on whether or not someone is a Christian. Back when Scotland was considering separating from England, this same pope gave his opinion on that situation. Since Scotland’s decision on the matter would not in any way affect the Catholic Church (other than maybe having to shuffle a diocese around if any exist on the border), it really was not right for the pope to comment on it. Pope Francis needs to get back to talking about the faith and weighty moral issues, not “cool” stuff that excites the media. He should not allow himself to be played by the media to provide ratings. He should be MAKING news cycles not being a pawn in them.

  4. Well, both Cruz and Rubio want to build a wall and all republicans want to secure the border with a virtual wall, so one cannot single-out Mr Trump. Are you saying Catholics should not vote for a republican? The pope was asked a politically charged question in an election year, and he gave an honest answer. Trump however also said he wanted a big fat door on his wall, so people can enter legally, but the reporter failed to mention that to the pope.

  5. Everyone who is criticizing our Holy Father for his comment is conveniently ignoring the second part of the quote: WITHOUT BUILDING BRIDGES. You can’t do one without the other.

    On another note-I sure don’t see Donald Trump building bridges/relationships with the other Republican candidates. I wince when I hear him utter unkind words about anyone with whom he disagrees. I pray that D. Trump’s heart will be changed to reflect the love and values of Our Lord.

    • Amen. Pope’s that live behind a large wall should not throw stones. Also there is no bridge into the vatican. You would be speared by a Swiss guard for even trying to get in.

  6. I find interesting your comments of “Trump will now use the comments to further inflame the debate – in a country with a long history of prejudice against Catholicism and the papacy.” and “…the papacy deserves more respect than the flippant comments from Trump.” This afternoon, Mr. Trump did just the opposite of your judgments against him, saying that he still respects Pope Francis. The pope is not a presidential candidate and as such should not venture into the political fray of this country. He should remain neutral and quiet in these matters lest he be accused of hippocracy.

    • Actually he should be pointing out the hypocrisy of voting for politicians of a political party that purports to be caring about life but are laying waste to the five Catholic non negotiables….. abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, and so-called homosexual “marriage”

  7. America has been the most Christian country allowing thousand of immigrants forever. But, when immigrants do not accept the laws, rules of entrance and try to force themselves into a country , then a wall may be required for safety… just like the Vatican walls. What is happening here and around the world is NOT immigration, is invasion. Agree with RAM,” Actually, the papacy deserves more respect that having the Pontiff weigh in with flippant comments”

  8. I’m glad to see Pope Francis taking the path of his namesake and challenging the fear mongering and misplaced blame that Trump and others are heaping on people from other countries. Praying we can find leaders who can walk the fine line of openness and true understanding instead of using fear of the other to incite hatred and spite.

  9. The Pope needs to STOP BEING POLITICAL and worry about the things he needs to worry about. He also should NOT tell another country how they should UPHOLD THEIR LAWS. Plain and Simple.

  10. Im so disappointed in Catholic Vote. Just so wrong to judge Trump, and others. Our Lord is clear on this subject. As we may never know how He may be moving in the lives of others – and bringing them closer to Him – hence the reason He asks us to not judge. Pull the plank out of your own eye.

  11. The pope KNOWS he is commenting on a political situation -and it is unfair that he mixes our political situation ( open borders) with respecting the dignity of people. There are many Catholic organizations that are at the border offering help not to escort people across but to give first aid to them due to the dangerous nature of the location. DT is talking about guarding and keeping safe the American people. The pope should busy himself with concern for the American Bishops and the state of the church in America and save his comments for those who are misleading the sheep within the church.

  12. “CV is committed to an immigration solution that secures our borders, protects our national security, and is welcoming of legal immigration. We can welcome the stranger, secure the border, and demand that our laws be respected at the same time.”

    So why is CV and the Pope trashing Donald Trump? This has always been Trump’s stance: Secure our borders, protect our national security, welcome LEGAL immigration, welcome stranger [WHO RESPECT OUR LAWS], and demand that our laws be respected.

    CV has not been listening to the debates. Trump’s stance on immigration resonates with those of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Pope is so wrong in what he said. He ought to walk it back and apologize to the American people.

    • CV is connected with Cruz campaign I noticed they used the same company Llc to design their logo and website. I once supported MrCruz but after what the campaign did to Dr Carson I lost all respect for his campaign to be President. After more research and learning information on his citizenship etc.. That goes for the Rubio campaign as well. I have made the right choice in not supporting their campaigns. I pray for the both of them because there is so much potential for them to stay in the Senate as long as they doesn’t sell out our country to foreign powers.

  13. The Pope refuses to «meddle» with Italy’s gay unions bill debate because he does not think it’s proper to meddle with Italian politics.

    So why is he meddling with ours?

  14. Unfortunate indeed, as the Roman Catholic position is anti-communist, anti-socialist, pro-life, and pro-individual freedoms,

    it becomes ever more confusing for the pious Catholic to navigate the political merry-go-round

  15. Catholic Vote – please do not say things like “We wish it didn’t happen, and fault the media for setting up the controversy.”

    The Holy Father is supposed to be a wise and prudent man. He opened his mouth and chose the words that came out. The media is NOT TO BLAME for this.

    The Pope spoke improperly, as he has done time and time and time and time before.

    Please help Catholics see what is happening and do not defend the Pope when he is clearly in the wrong.

  16. It’s go time for Catholics. We need to choose our country or our religion because you can’t support both any longer. The bottom line is the Pope spoke the Truth. If someone can’t handle the truth they need to take a good hard long look in the mirror

    • Pope didn’t speak the truth, he degraded Mr. Trump based on the his own political position which is global socialism. This is Saul Alinsky tactic Rules for Radicals. In fact pope Francis also said artificial birth control is ok to use to prevent pregnancy in case of Zika virus infected. He just opened the door for artificial birth control use. At least he was still against abortion. Another totally bizarre plane interview by Pope Francis. I choose my Catholic Faith and loyalty to defend my country like St Joan of Arc did for her Catholic Faith and country. Probably will end up like her by being burnt at the stake by the corrupt hierarchy., well at least figuratively speaking for now.

  17. Ugh. Again. Ok, people, let’s get the quote right: “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. I’ll only say that this man is not Christian if he says this. We have to see if he said these things. And … I give the benefit of the doubt.”
    A couple of things… First, anyone who has followed my FB page knows that I am not a fan of the Donald. Second, don’t you think it’s time that Pope Francis gets a press secretary, or at least maybe refuses to take liberal media bait when he holds these press conferences? I am getting tired of listening to liberal pundits sing the praises of a man who is the leader of an institution they despise, while conservatives, who share the same values as the pope, decry him as a marxist who favors open borders.
    By the way, as hard as it is for Donald Trump to accept, it seems as if Pope Francis has no idea who he is. As immersed as we here in America may be in our election season, I doubt Francis is following the Republican primaries. And I’m quite sure he has never watched “Celebrity Apprentice.”
    Now let’s get to the quote.
    “A person who thinks only about building walls… AND NOT BUILDING BRIDGES is not Christian.” True or False? What does it mean to not build bridges? Obviously, he wasn’t talking about literal bridges across the Rio Grande.
    “This is not in the Gospel.” True or False? Will anyone contradict this statement? Is it the Gospel to refuse to “build bridges,” i.e., reach out, lend a hand, to the poor and oppressed?
    “I’ll only say that this man (Trump) is not Christian IF he says this.” Donald Trump and all his defenders are operating as if Trump HAS said this!
    “We have to see IF he said these things. I give the benefit of the doubt.” Ummm. How do I explain this? How ’bout, Pope Francis is giving Trump the benefit of the doubt. That is, he is going under the assumption that Trump ISN’T talking only about building walls and not figurative bridges. Francis is giving Trump the benefit of the doubt that he IS a Christian!
    Before you Trump supporters jump all over Pope Francis, read John 18:23. “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike me?”
    Finally, Trump has admitted that he is very pro-choice (before deciding to run for president as a Republican, of course). I would question his Christianity on that stance alone.

  18. Don’t know what happened to you guys, but the only thing Catholic Vote is committed to being these days is a bunch of spineless, neoCatholic wimps. You belong over on patheos.

  19. Oh gosh, people – the pope was speaking about spiritual walls and spiritual bridges! Not literal ones! Do you think he means we should build a literal bridge from the US to Mexico?

  20. I beg your pardon, but at best the “flippancy” runs both ways. Why do you ignore the pope’s slander against Trump for being “not Christian”? Trump always opposed illegal immigration. It is disingenuous of the pope to disregard that qualifier. To the extent that he uses the language of the progressives, he indeed is functioning as their tool – and it’s his responsibility for doing so, not Trump’s for merely pointing out the obvious.

  21. Pat Cullinan, Jr. on

    What a terrible shame that the Pope chose to make Trump an adversary, and not a friend. Trump may well have been receptive to Catholic truth had the Pope offered it to him with charity and discretion. Now the milk is spilt, and that’s that.

    P.S. Please don’t set gray type. I know it’s the latest thing, but it’s hard to read. Black type (on white) is always a winner. Thank you very much for a great mission and a great website..

  22. Trump is stupid to argue with the Pope, politically and religiously. The Pope is a religious leader and Trump is only a lay person..The Pope is the Head of State for Vatican City and Trump is only a candidate to be the head of state. Trump maybe has more money but has less power.

  23. The Pope needs instruction and guidance in communicating with the media. He seems to be lacking in that skill set. The media loves cornering him. He is so easy to set up. Someone please teach him how to avoid such traps.

  24. Pretty interesting that a site called Catholic vote takes the position that the Pope is not a politician. It seems that is mostly what he is. The Pope is given authority by Man that I am certain Christ would denounce and abhor The Catholic Church has killed many Christians in order to maintain it’s political power and seems to put politics and power well ahead of Christianity.
    .

  25. This pope is very strange and even politically naive or worse. Why do the are not the dictators and tyrants that make their own people flee their own countries not criticized and scrutinized more. We need to put pressure on them to stop mistreating their own people. If the same economic conditions were available in Mexico, if Mexico lived by a rule of law instead of corruption, would not their people stay. America is not the problem, Pope Francis.

  26. It would be helpful if CatholicVote and the commenters here actually acknowledged what the pope said. The pope made it clear that his assessment of Trump’s policies as not Christian hinge on whether or not the reporter who asked him the question was accurately describing Trump’s position. He said IF someone is focusing only on building walls and not bridges, and IF that person has advocated separating family members as a way to deal with immigration, then that is not Christian. He then made it clear that he didn’t know whether the way the reporter had presented Trump’s positions was accurate and that he would give the benefit of the doubt to Trump.

    I can’t see anything wrong with what the pope said. It IS unchristian to simply shut those in need out and to tear families apart.

    • He played to his audience in Mexico by making a personal judgement on a US presidential candidate.

      I’m not in the Trump camp, but the Pope should not have done that.

  27. You do an injustice to Catholics and to the USA even appearing to defend this very, very strange pope. Shame on Catholic Vote.

  28. Anthony Cangemi on

    The Pope’s comments are not really about “politics”. The are generic liberal clap trap. The Pope apparently denies that a nation or a people have the right to protect themselves from an invasion which will (and has) harm them and their country and countrymen. His comments deny a country’s right to establish and enforce its own borders. He does not speak of the hardships illegal immigration has caused in US communities which are least able to afford them; such things like hospital closings, school disruptions, criminal law enforcement issues, .giant tax deficits, etc.,.

    I understand his impulse to speak about poverty and suffering but why not speak to the Mexican, Guatemala, Honduras etc. governments about caring for its own people and not foisting them of on innocent citizens of another country.

    Also, why does this Pope, in the “Year of Mercy” HE has proclaimed not compel every church worldwide to say prayers at every Mass for the persecuted Christians and other religious minorities? Would this be “interference” in temporal matters?

  29. I am saddened by the people on this forum, ostensibly Catholic, saying the Pope should just shut his mouth. He is preaching the Gospel. He speaks for the poor, the unborn, the weak, the vulnerable. He spoke the truth. The people getting offended by that are similar to the pro abortion Catholics who get uncomfortable when the Pope talks about protecting the unborn. He should make them feel uncomfortable with their pro choice positions. Likewise, he should make Catholics uncomfortable who support a border wall and support the vile rhetoric of some in the GOP regarding immigrants.

    • Passing personal judgments on non-Catholic US political candidates isn’t “preaching the Gospel”.

      ” The people getting offended by that are similar to the pro abortion Catholics who get uncomfortable when the Pope talks about protecting the unborn. He should make them feel uncomfortable with their pro choice positions.”

      Excellent point here. When is he going to call out the pro-abortion US presidential candidates publicly?

    • Respectfully, I disagree. He wasn’t preaching the Gospel…This is the Gospel (Good News) 1 Corinthians 15 “Now I make known to you, brothers, the gospel which I proclaimed to you, which you have also received, in which you also stand, 2 by which you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the message I proclaimed to you, unless you believed to no purpose. 3 For I passed on to you as of first importance[a] what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised up on the third day according to the scriptures” You live “the gospel” by believing and receiving.. not being nice to people. Atheist can be moral people, but it won’t keep them from hell.

  30. Another good reason to vote for Ben Carson. Real Christian leadership. The Vicar of Christ is a Great Teacher. Many , just like with Jesus, don’t understand. Its OK trust is what is needed.

  31. Fr. Jack Spaulding on

    It is the popes fault. No excuses. No blaming others. He has embarrassed the Church and Christ and continues to make a mockery of the Catholic faith. Why should Trump (a non-catholic Christian) respect the pope, the pope doesn’t respect the papacy! The pope is a product of a socialist country and doesn’t seem to have the intellectual wherewithal to deal with the world around him–he is pretty undisciplined and narcissistic and extravagant. He spends/wastes twice as much money on his living arrangements as the last four popes. He is a pretty selfish guy and judgmental. Not the role model one would want for the True Catholic faith……

  32. If he is asked by a reporter on a plane, I’m sure he would. His stance on the unborn has always been clear. Notably, in the answer to the border wall question, the Pope said he would give Trump the benefit of the doubt AND he would not suggest who people should vote for.

    • Well, the “who am I to judge” comment on the plane about homosexuals was taken and run with by the press as tacit approval of homosexual lifestyles.

      This comment of his has dragged the office into the mud of election politics for no good reason.

      • Ok, but that answer was in response to a question about a priest who struggles with homosexuality. He preached the Gospel again in saying “who am I to judge.” He was not asked about a politician’s views on same-sex marriage. He gave a compassionate answer, which is consistent with his approach across the board. That some people feel uncomfortable with his latest remarks is perhaps just good judgment from that person’s conscience.

        • Correct-the two matters are not completely analogous. I had no problems with what he said RE: homosexuality. That was not a political comment.

          What IS analogous with the two scenarios is the fact that the media, activists (and here, politicians) will take his words and use them to amplify their cause sans context of the “benefit of the doubt” addenda.

          It’s already happened. Headlines were “Pope says Trump “not Christian”. All over the place,

        • “That some people feel uncomfortable with his latest remarks is perhaps just good judgment from that person’s conscience.”

          That’s a little smug. I was hardly surprised, knowing his background, that the Pope would come down where he has in his speeches in Mexico, but the office isn’t a sounding board on US elections.

  33. I’m Catholic, and I too believe the Pope needs to keep quite about this!! Once again, the Media is succeeding in promoting only bits and pieces of what the actual TRUTH is! Donald Trump is not against immigration… let’s keep that point out there!!! Donald Trump, like every other American, is against ILLEGAL immigration!! Building a wall will force individuals to come into our country legally… period!!!! All he’s saying is that we need to start taking the safety of our beautiful country, and the citizens of this country, more seriously! I also find it strange, that his Holiness is more compelled to spend his time attacking a US Presidential candidate for wanting to protect the citizens, but keeps quiet about the other candidates who are pro-choice! Think about… the Pope publicly criticizes Trump for wanting to protect and VALUE life, yet nothing is mentioned about the killing of unborn babies! Whatever happened to separation of Church and State?

  34. I agree, but it applies to me as well. As a Catholic Democrat, I have had to confront the uncomfortable feeling that the party I support has essentially pushed pro-life Democrats out the door, at least on a national level. My unease is just good judgment from inside.

  35. Ugh. Again. Ok, people, let’s get the quote right: “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. I’ll only say that this man is not Christian if he says this. We have to see if he said these things. And … I give the benefit of the doubt.”
    A couple of things… First, don’t you think it’s time that Pope Francis gets a press secretary, or at least maybe refuses to take liberal media bait when he holds these press conferences? I am getting tired of listening to liberal pundits sing the praises of a man who is the leader of an institution they despise, while conservatives, who share the same values as the pope, decry him as a Marxist who favors open borders.
    By the way, as hard as it is for Donald Trump to accept, it seems as if Pope Francis has no idea who he is. As immersed as we here in America may be in our election season, I doubt Francis is following the Republican primaries. And I’m quite sure he has never watched “Celebrity Apprentice.”
    Now let’s get to the quote.
    “A person who thinks only about building walls… AND NOT BUILDING BRIDGES is not Christian.” True or False? What does it mean to not build bridges? Obviously, he wasn’t talking about literal bridges across the Rio Grande.
    “This is not in the Gospel.” True or False? Will anyone contradict this statement? Is it the Gospel to refuse to “build bridges,” i.e., reach out, lend a hand, to the poor and oppressed?
    “I’ll only say that this man (Trump) is not Christian IF he says this.” Donald Trump and all his defenders are operating as if Trump HAS said this!
    “We have to see IF he said these things. I give the benefit of the doubt.” Ummm. How do I explain this? How ’bout, Pope Francis is giving Trump the benefit of the doubt. That is, he is going under the assumption that Trump ISN’T talking only about building walls and not figurative bridges. Francis is giving Trump the benefit of the doubt that he IS a Christian!
    Before you Trump supporters jump all over Pope Francis, read John 18:23. “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike me?”
    Finally, Trump has admitted that he is very pro-choice (before deciding to run for president as a Republican, of course). I would question his Christianity on that stance alone.

  36. The pope is not meddling with politics. In the UK Trump would not even be chosen by a political party to stand in a local council election. He is the wmirror image of the left wing Democrat. As a Catholic Brit, I hope Rubio wins.

  37. Well, it seems Trump has decided to graciously help us all out on this one with his comments commending torture, religious persecution, and summary execution of prisoners. If it wasn’t already, I think it is now pretty clear whether he is a Christian.

  38. I think it’s media hearsay propaganda. I don’t believe the Pope would clearly say someone is not a christian, that would put him in a jugdement seat. Perhaps he said it was not christian like to build walls. But then there are walls around the Pope that protect him.

  39. So he can’t criticize the Pope’s words? I’m as Catholic as you. The Pope is a man! Stop using our Church to forward your political agenda . nauseating.

  40. Carolyn Randall on

    Donald Trump evil and the pope is right. I can’t believe people can’t see through this man. Trust the pope on this one.

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