Pope Francis has been a very public figure, even more so than his papal predecessors. He also has views on issues that tend to differ from the general consensus of his Christian constituents, often breaching the gap between liberal and conservative politics in his theology. He has spoken out against capitalism and power-hungry public figures, and has chosen to focus his papacy on helping the impoverished and spreading love. Good thing he doesn’t have to worry about re-election.
Donald Trump, whose critics have accused him of xenophobia, and who has promised to deport every illegal immigrant back to Mexico, has taken it upon himself to criticize the pope for his perspective on the Mexican-American border situation.
During Pope Francis’ recent visit to Mexico he visited cities wrecked by the aftermath of drug cartel violence, and gave a mass at the Mexican-American border. More than 200,000 people listened to the mass, and heard the pope speak out for mercy to the immigrants seeking safety from cartel brutality and a life of poverty. Pope Francis also walked along the Rio Grande in Ciudad Juarez to lay flowers and pray for the lives lost. While Mexico may be a source of political tension in the US, for the Pope it is a safe haven, as 82% of Mexicans claim Catholicism as their Religion.
On the plane departing Mexico, Pope Francis had a few words to say about Trump’s statement, and about Trump himself:
While the pope did not get specifically into US politics, he does make it clear that there is a right and a wrong way to be Christian. Simply claiming to be Christian, and yet acting with hate and aggression does not make a person truly Christian. Christianity is about living with Christ-like values, like love, charity, and unity. Pope Francis has focused on unity in his time in the Papal office, encouraging world leaders to come together and grow, rather than divide.
“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.” – Pope Francis
Donald Trump, who has called Mexican immigrants “rapists” and drug-dealers, did not take kindly to the pope’s words, responding with a scathing letter and a press conference:
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.
At the end of the day, Christianity should not be playing into the decisions of our American politicians, thats why the separation of church and state exists. However, if a politician is going to claim to be a Christian, maybe don’t insult the leader of the Christian faith while simultaneously living a very un-Christian life.
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