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Trump's views 'not Christian,' Pope says

February 18, 2016

Pope Francis has inserted himself into the US presidential campaign, telling reporters that the views on immigration held by Republican candidate Donald Trump are “not Christian.”

Questioned about Trump’s views, during an in-flight news conference as he returned to Rome following a visit to Mexico, the Pope 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.

The Pope then backtracked slightly, saying that he did not want to give advice to voters, and adding that he was not sure about Trump’s views. “I say only that this man is not Christian if he said things like that,” the Pontiff said; “We must see if he said things in that way, and in this I give the benefit of the doubt.”

Earlier Trump had suggested that the Pope was being political, and perhaps was being used as a pawn, when he traveled to Mexico to speak on behalf of immigrants. To those charges the Pope replied:

Thank God he said I was a politician because Aristotle defined the human person as 'animal politicus.' At least I am a human person. As to whether I am a pawn, well, maybe, I don't know. I'll leave that up to your judgment and that of the people.

Informed about the Pope’s comments during a campaign appearance, Trump responded aggressively:

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.

A rival Republican candidate, Senator Marco Rubio, also took issue with the papal remarks, saying “there’s no nation on earth that’s more compassionate on immigration than we are.”

Spokesmen for both the Trump and Rubio campaigns pointed out that the Vatican is surrounded by walls.


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  • Posted by: herose4u3999 - Feb. 20, 2016 12:11 PM ET USA

    Trump's response shows a hotheaded address without carefully addressing the context of the Pope's response to the context of the question posed to the Pope. I agree with the Pope but he must come to realize some day that the media will twist and interpret his words to their own choosing.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Feb. 19, 2016 2:06 PM ET USA

    Whatever else I might say about Donald Trump, good or bad, I think he is right in saying that the Vatican would be ISIS's ultimate trophy. God willing, such a thing should never happen.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 19, 2016 4:37 AM ET USA

    I am glad the Pope, in his backtracking, tempered his judgment against Trump's Christian leanings. When it comes to his pet issues, Pope Francis seems to be easily rankled. He should reconsider the difference between God's active will and His permissive will. God allows walls to be constructed if they serve a good moral purpose. However, I doubt that He would smile upon equating the moral walls that Pope Francis is talking about to the physical walls that Trump is talking about.

  • Posted by: space15796 - Feb. 19, 2016 2:34 AM ET USA

    Who is informing the Pope? How can he not know that the US takes in more legal immigrants annually than ALL THE OTHER NATHIONS OF THE WORLD COMBINED? Last year, US took 1.6 million legal immigrants. Mexico took in 1500 immigrants in the last TEN years! And by the way, if Capitalism is so evil, why are so many people flooding to the premiere capitalist nation? Can it be that capitalism is the best way to improve the lives of the greatest number of people?

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Feb. 18, 2016 6:44 PM ET USA

    Misleading headline! Pope said Trump (because of his views) was not a Christian. Regrettably, I agree with Trump, that is a disgraceful judgment. Oh wait, who am I to judge?

  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Feb. 18, 2016 4:31 PM ET USA

    Not faith & morals, so again, I think Pope Francis should consider before he makes bald statements of this nature. I also think he needs to stop viewing everything through the prism of Argentina. Finally, he needs to realize that the liberal press is baiting him so that his imprudent comments can be used against conservative thinkers in every walk of life - politics, education, medicine, workplace, etc.