Pope Francis suggested on Feb. 18 that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is “not Christian” based on his promises to deport immigrants and “build a wall” between the United States and Mexico.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the gospel,” the pope said.
Unsurprisingly, Trump retorted almost immediately, claiming that the pope’s comments were “disgraceful,” and that “no leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith.”
“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,” Trump said.
I can’t think of a more Trump-like response than one that transforms a regular conversation about unrelated political issues into a reminder of his obnoxiously aggressive policies regarding terrorism. Many people are not surprised about the pope’s recent comments, since he has been one of the most progressive religious leaders the Catholic Church has ever seen. Francis is particularly renowned for his acceptance of all types of people, including atheists and homosexuals. He famously stated, “Who am I to judge?” when referring to homosexuals in the Catholic Church.
With this knowledge about Francis, it is easier to understand his comments about Trump; he is asserting that Trump’s idea of building a wall does not align with Christian ideology. Who could possibly be more qualified to represent the beliefs of the Catholic Church?
By now, most of us have heard Trump’s notorious remarks labeling all people living south of the border between the United States and Mexico as “criminals” and “rapists.” These claims probably don’t sit too well with the pope either, as he recently visited Mexico and confirmed that not all of its residents are rapists or criminals.
I am not one to immediately jump to the support of the Catholic Church. Historically, the Catholic Church has not necessarily been concerned with building bridges. However, Francis seems to be doing an excellent job of evolving with the flow of a progressive society, and I couldn’t ask for a better representative of a traditionally conservative institution.