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Judge Trump by treatment of the poor, Pope Francis suggests in ‘revolutionary’ interview

November 11, 2016

Pope Francis said that he would judge American president-elect Donald Trump by his handling of the poor and immigrants, in a new interview published by the Italian daily La Repubblica.

When Eugenio Scalfari, the founder of La Repubblica, asked the Poep for his opinion of Trump, the Holy Father replied:

I do not pass judgment on people and politicians, I simply want to understand the suffering that their approach causes the poor and excluded.

(It is important to note that Scalfari interviewed Pope Francis on Monday November 8: the day before the US elections, so the Pope’s comments cannot be interpreted as a comment on the results. Also, the 92-year-old Italian journalist, who has now conducted several interviews with Pope Francis, does not take notes or record the sessions; he relies on his memory to reproduce the conversations. Thus the statements that he attributes to the Pontiff make not be fully accurate.)

In an interview that focused on economic and social problems, when asked to name his most pressing concern, Pope Francis answered: “The question of refugees and immigrants.” He went on to say that immigrants often face hostility from people who are fearful of losing their jobs, and suggested that the problem reflects the injustice of the global economic system. “Money is against the poor as well as against immigrants and refugees,” the Pope said; “but there are also poor people in rich countries who fear the arrival of their fellows from poor countries.” The only solution, he said, is to “break down the walls that divide us.”

The fundamental problem, the Pope said, is inequality, which he called “the greatest evil that exists in the world.” He added: “It is money that creates [inequality] and that goes against those measures that try to make wealth more widespread and thus promote equality.”

When Scalfari—whose political sympathies are strongly leftist—remarked that the Pope’s statement sounded akln to Marxism, the Pontiff replied that he had heard the same comment before, and “my response has always been that, if anything, it is the Communists who think like Christians.”

In an introductory remark preceding the interview in La Repubblica, Scalfari observed: “I have often written that Francis is a revolutionary, but this was beyond revolution.”


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Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Nov. 12, 2016 11:55 AM ET USA

    at what time should Catholics cease taking him seriously? Already done that.

  • Posted by: Jeffreyallen24819 - Nov. 12, 2016 10:47 AM ET USA

    Loool. How can Marxist zero sum- game logic be applied to Christian Theology ? Every Saint in heaven is there because of some poor sinner in hades ?

  • Posted by: wsw33410 - Nov. 12, 2016 6:56 AM ET USA

    I remember Francis saying: Who am I to judge? Please Francis - stay focus on stopping a heresy that is developing around the world, right before your eyes ... encouraged by your convoluted messages.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Nov. 12, 2016 2:49 AM ET USA

    Not clever by half even. Communists who think like Christians?? If that is the case, Fatima got it all wrong. So let's say you only mean insofar as economics is concerned. If you think inequality is the "greatest evil that exists in the world" you are, sir, in that niche, a full blown Marxist and a failure as a student of human nature.

  • Posted by: padrebill - Nov. 11, 2016 7:21 PM ET USA

    Does His Holiness really know what is going on in the U.S.??? PLEASE, someone tell him, the ENTIRE Democratic Party (as per their platform) is for the killing of MILLIONS of unborn, the "new ideology of evil" (JPII) that is marriage redefinition, and under Dem Presidents food aid to the poor of the world is tied to the acceptance contraception. And, as for immigration, sure the rhetoric was "hot" - but the Catechism does allow for prudential judgement on this issue. Oy!

  • Posted by: rickt26170 - Nov. 11, 2016 7:17 PM ET USA

    Let's see - which communists think like Christians? Followers of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot? Perhaps today's Chinese leadership who is more admired by Francis than Chinese Christians. Does he think that Communist regimes have ever delivered on their promise of equality of outcome (unless he's thinking of having people equally poor)? Considering the rash comments that continue stream forth from Francis, at what time should Catholics cease taking him seriously?